NYSNA Statement on the Verdict in the Trial of Derek Chauvin

NYSNA President Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, RN, said:

The killing of George Floyd last summer, by police officer Derek Chauvin, captured on video for the world to see, was an excruciating 9 minute and 29 second piece of evidence of a systemic disregard for Black lives in America.

The trial of Derek Chauvin presented additional and overwhelming evidence to support the charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The jury’s verdict of guilty on all three charges brought a measure of relief and a sense of greater accountability to communities throughout the U.S. No one is above the law.

As nurses, we understand that racism is a public health crisis and one of the key social determinants of health. Every person must be seen as equal under the law, just as every patient must be seen as equal in our healthcare system, regardless of race or other characteristics.

We are encouraged by the outcome of this trial, but it will not bring back George Floyd to his family. Nor will it bring back other Black and Brown victims of overly aggressive policing, or the victims of racist violence throughout the country. This verdict is one step closer towards justice, and nurses will continue advocating for the legal and other reforms needed to realize everyone’s humanity—and true racial and social justice.