Senate Leader Atkins: Justice Was Served Today But Cannot Be One-Time Thing
SACRAMENTO – Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) released the following statement following the guilty verdict issued in the murder of George Floyd:
“Our country has been continually rocked and in mourning over the killing of Black community members. These tragedies—and now the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial regarding the killing of George Floyd—leave many of us continuing to look for both immediate and long-term solutions. Justice was served today, but it cannot be a one-time thing. Training, accountability, and decertification certainly are all good strategies, but the real change has to start with recognizing that systemic racism and our implicit biases account for the biggest piece of the problem.
“We, as a society – not just Black, Brown, Asian, or ethnically-diverse individuals – are beginning to confront the reality that systemic racism is the real root of the problem. We have to continue that change from within, accept the reality of what has been happening, and chart a course for change. If we don’t start with that – even as we work to implement laws, policies, guidelines, and measures to ensure progress – it either won’t have a lasting impact or won’t happen at all.
“Former President Barack Obama issued a statement following the recent killing of Daunte Wright in Minneapolis that resonated with me: ‘…this is also a reminder of just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country.’ In California, our reimagining took a big step forward with our landmark police reform law, AB 392 in 2019. That was the foundation. Now, our work continues to enact the kind of justice reform that can be the framework for a truly equitable, inclusive, and safe California for all.”
Toni G. Atkins is President pro Tempore of the California Senate. Having previously served as Speaker of the California Assembly, she began her tenure in the Senate in 2016. As Senator for District 39, she represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. Website of President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins: www.senate.ca.gov/Atkins