As Non-Black people we don’t really get to say what justice for the Black community looks like. Like many of you, I’ll get to tuck my kid in tonight. As a mom, I cannot stop thinking about the countless Black mothers who won’t get to see their children again. George Floyd called out for his mom. Daunte Wright called out for his mom. To be a mother in a world where you cannot protect your child from the violence of the state is unconscionable. Today’s verdict provides some relief, but I know we still have a long way to go.
Black community members have long been deprived of basic rights that every single person is entitled to. Things that we take for granted every day like being able to be home with your family, to be with your loved ones, to hold your kids close at the end of the day, to be able to walk freely down the street, drive to the gas station, to sleep in your own home. To not have to have “the talk.” True community safety is being able to do these things freely.
Today cannot be about one officer nor about one police department. Over the course of the Derek Chauvin trial, since testimony began on March 29, at least 64 people have died at the hands of law enforcement nationwide, with Black and Latino people representing more than half of the dead. As of Saturday, the average was more than three killings a day. Stories like 20 year old Daunte Wright or 13 year Adam Toledo have ripped open our hearts all over again. This is a systemic issue.
There are a lot of policy proposals I could point to, investments, divestments, that have become the center of policy discussions over the last year – but this moment, this moment all I can think about is the families. The Black families across our City and across this country. To those families, I say that I see you, I hold you in my heart, and I promise to fight for a world where justice is a lived experience everyday.
Teresa Mosqueda is the Seattle City Councilmember for Position 8
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