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Mayor Keller, Chief Medina Issue Statements on Verdict in Derek Chauvin Trial

Mayor Tim Keller and Chief Harold Medina issued the following statements regarding the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin Trial.

April 20, 2021

“The murder of George Floyd has weighed heavy on my mind since last May. The depth of the pain that so many experienced in the days since never went away. The trial was a window into the different forms of trauma that these acts of violence leave behind to ripple through communities. Today, there is at least some validation for those who have been fighting for justice for this horrifying, heartbreaking and unacceptable act of violence at the hands of a police officer. Although this murder took place in Minneapolis, the impact of this verdict goes far beyond Minnesota. Anti-Blackness and racism have a long history in every city across our country. There are no exceptions. While we can hope that this verdict offers some semblance of justice, we still have a long way to go before we have fully addressed the ongoing racial injustice in this country that is embedded in every institution around us.

“Albuquerque stands in solidarity with those who are grieving this recurring violence, and commits to continuing to reimagine policing here at home. Healing requires action, and includes the push towards lasting reform at the police department. But it also must extend beyond that. That’s why we’re working to decriminalize poverty, addiction, mental health challenges and homelessness with the Albuquerque Community Safety department and creating paths to transformative justice, especially for young people. While there is no one thing that can un-do racism in our country, we won’t stop fighting for meaningful changes in our community today,” said Mayor Tim Keller.

“The death of George Floyd shook our nation, and for good reason. Some in our community want to believe that these instances of racism and police brutality against Black Americans are a thing of the past. That’s especially true in Albuquerque where we value diversity, but we often come short when it comes to practicing what we preach. When you take the time to listen to our Black neighbors and community leaders, you will hear about the very real experiences of injustice at the hands of police. It is tragic that it took the death of George Floyd, and the conviction of the officer who killed him, to spark the outrage that forced us all to pay attention.

“As Police Chief of the Albuquerque Police Department, I am fully committed to ensuring that we build the proper culture that respects diversity and the equal treatment of all residents. It’s not an easy process. And it’s not as simple as rewriting policies and training officers. We have to get everyone in the department to buy into this culture. We have to be open-minded and willing to have uncomfortable conversations. Our Ambassador program started that process at APD, and we are already benefitting from it. I tell our officers this often. We need to treat everyone, every day, with the dignity they deserve. We must do better,” said Chief Harold Medina.