Vera Institute Reflects a Year After the Murder of George Floyd

May 25 marks one year since George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer, a painful reminder of the dehumanization of Black people in a nationwide system rooted in the violent legacy of slavery and white supremacy. Today, we mourn the loss of George Floyd’s life, and remain committed to transforming the criminal legal system until it is fair for all.

In the year since George Floyd’s murder, there have been several victories in the ongoing fight to dismantle systemic racism and create a more equitable system of public safety. State legislatures passed more than 140 new police oversight and reform laws in the past year. In Boston, the city reinvested $12 million from the police department’s overtime budget into trauma counseling, housing services, and other public health and social service agencies. And a number of states and cities are making previously sealed police disciplinary records available to the public for the first time.

We applaud these victories while also recognizing that progress has not happened quickly enough to save the numerous victims of police violence since May 25, 2020. The United States continues to devote more time, energy, and money toward criminalizing, policing, and imprisoning people rather than addressing the many injustices happening across the country every day. For example, police officers’ use of pretextual stops are riddled with biases that disproportionately harm Black and brown people—people like Daunte Wright, who, earlier this year, was killed by an officer following a traffic stop.

Vera will continue to work with communities, advocates, and government leaders to build on the gains made since George Floyd’s death and work toward a system of public safety that truly respects and protects all people.

The Vera Institute of Justice is powered by hundreds of advocates, researchers, and activists working to transform the criminal legal and immigration systems until they’re fair for all. Founded in 1961 to advocate for alternatives to money bail in New York City, Vera is now a national organization that partners with impacted communities and government leaders for change. We develop just, antiracist solutions so that money doesn’t determine freedom; fewer people are in jails, prisons, and immigration detention; and everyone is treated with dignity. Vera’s headquarters is in Brooklyn, New York, with offices in Washington, DC, New Orleans, and Los Angeles.

Related Content