Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Chauvin Verdict ‘Not a Substitute for Policy Change’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., gestures during a debate ahead of New York's June 23 primary election, Wednesday, June 17, 2020, in New York. Three of the four candidates attended. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) doubled down on Tuesday following the guilty verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, concluding the results are “not a substitute for policy change” in the United States.

“That a family had to lose a son, brother and father; that a teenage girl had to film and post a murder, that millions across the country had to organize and march just for George Floyd to be seen and valued is not justice,” she wrote on social media following the verdict.

“And this verdict is not a substitute for policy change,” she declared:

Chauvin was found guilty of all three charges he faced, including second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

The New York lawmaker also took to Instagram following the news of the guilty verdict, contending it was “not justice.”

“It’s not justice because justice is George Floyd going home tonight to be with his family,” she said, continuing to list off a series of examples:

Justice is Adam Toledo getting tucked in by his mom tonight. Justice is when you’re pulled over, there not being a gun that’s part of that interaction because you have a headlight out. Justice is your school system not having or being part of a school-to-prison pipeline. Justice is a municipality and a government that does not — because it trickles down right? — that does not value military and armaments more than it healthcare, and education, and housing.

“So, no, this verdict is not justice,” Ocasio-Cortez continued, doubting it could even be considered “full accountability.”

“Frankly, I don’t even think we call it full accountability, because there are multiple officers that were there. It wasn’t just Derek Chauvin,” she added, stressing the system is still “not working.”


Ocasio-Cortez added she does not feel “resolved today.”

“This is about changing how we structure our society and the valuing of black life,” she said, later adding, “Black men deserve to grow old in this country. They deserve to see their grandchildren.”

Fellow “Squad” member Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) repeated those sentiments, writing, “Black men, I love you, and you deserve to grow old”:

Similarly, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison (D) concluded the verdict was not justice, because “justice implies true restoration.”


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