Over the past week, our nation has grieved the death of George Floyd. I stand united with all who demand that justice must be brought to those who took his life and applaud today’s announcement by the Minnesota Attorney General to charge all four officers, including second degree murder for Derek Chauvin. I also stand with the vast majority of Americans opposed to the hatred and threats coming from the highest levels of our Government, including a President recklessly undermining our constitutional rights.
Closer to home, we have seen incredible unity and support, demanding the kind of change America must have if we are ever to heal the wounds of our past and achieve the kind of future we deserve. Protesters here and across the nation are correct in demanding action from elected officials, law enforcement, and community leaders. We must eliminate police brutality and militarization and confront the legacy of systemic racism in our criminal justice system and throughout society.
In Washington State, following the killing of Charleena Lyles in front of her children, advocates, voters and our legislature worked to mandate police de-escalation and enact legal reforms through I-940 and other legislation to hold law enforcement accountable for excessive force. While we should be proud of these important actions, they are simply steps forward, and not nearly the end of this important journey. Diligent, vigorous efforts must continue until race-based violence ends.
I pledge to continue learning, listening, and working with community partners as we honor the lives of George Floyd, Charleena Lyles, and hundreds of others tragically lost, and address head on the oppressive systems and racist policies facing Black Americans; I will continue fighting poverty and working for social and economic justice. Black Lives Matter.
– Rep. Frank Chopp