BPDA Statement on the Derek Chauvin Verdict

WASHINGTON (April 20, 2021) — The Black Public Defender Association released the following statement in response to the verdict in the Derek Chauvin case:

“Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of George Floyd. We hope the verdict brings them some peace. 

As Black defenders, we bear witness to the assaults inflicted on our clients, most of whom will never be known nationally by name. We know intimately that a conviction does not produce justice or systemic change. To protect Black lives, we must reduce the scope and power of police now. We must also hold prosecutors and other system actors who work in concert with police accountable for sustaining a system off of the backs of Black, Latinx, and poor people.

A single conviction is not enough. We need to transform the meaning of public safety to ensure that the needs of Black communities are at the forefront.

As Black defenders, we will continue to fight to dismantle carceral systems that target and harm Black communities.“


The Black Public Defender Association aims to improve the quality of defense provided to low-income communities across the United States by creating and maintaining a national network of skilled Black public defenders that identify with and are committed to the populations they serve.