Last night while watching the verdict come in, for a shred of a moment, we collectively shared a sense of relief. After you and I had spent the past year at protests calling for reform, in this trial, a proper verdict was returned. However, I stop short of calling this verdict justice.

While we hope for justice, I, like many others, didn’t have a feeling of resolution last night. And that’s because justice isn’t Derek Chauvin going to prison. True justice would be if George Floyd were still alive today.

Last night’s verdict isn’t an end point. Rather, it’s a collective call for allies to rise and demand change to the criminal system that has left dinner tables missing brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. We don’t have a justice system; we have a criminal system. Last night’s verdict gives us hope that justice can be put back into the justice system, but time will tell.

I hope we in the General Assembly can come together to put solutions in place to reduce police brutality. HB 1006 this year was a successful first step, but it is just a first step. I hope, for the sake of our communities, that we can make the significant changes that Black Hoosiers and Black Americans deserve.