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Statement from County Executive Marc Elrich Regarding the Guilty Verdict of Derek Chauvin In George Floyd Case

For Immediate Release: Tuesday 20 April

It is a sad reality that Black Americans continue to suffer disproportionate use of force, which far too often leads to fatal consequences. And George Floyd’s case is neither the first example of this, nor the last. These victims were deprived of justice while they lived and are too often victims even in death. So, it is not surprising that so many of us have been looking to the trial for a sign that the arc is bending toward justice even when the assailant is a police officer.

The conviction of Derek Chauvin will not bring George Floyd back, it will not make his family whole; but it will send the message that in America justice can be achieved. Hopefully, it will mark a turning point that liberates prosecutors and juries to administer justice regardless of the profession of the accused. There is no doubt that George Floyd was murdered despite posing no threat to the officers who surrounded him or the members of public who looked on in horror. It wasn’t just excessive force; it was lethal force, and it was unnecessary. There are just too many cases where the level of force bears no relationship to the crime – and this must end.

Here in Montgomery County, we are moving forward with a comprehensive review of how we hire, how we train, and how we police. It’s why we’ve established policies that clearly define expected practices: banning chokeholds, changing the rules on no-knock warrants, and implementing a “duty to intervene” so that no officer in our County will do what happened in Minneapolis where officers sworn to protect the community stood by as another officer spent nine minutes ending the life of George Floyd. Now is our moment to institute significant institutional changes that will benefit all our residents, rebuild confidence in our police, and restore the morale of our officers. We are well on our way on this work and are committed to ensuring an equitable outcome for everyone.

Release ID: 21-011