A Moment of Accountability in the Police Killing of George Floyd

Published Apr 21, 2021
Mural of George Floyd surrounded by flowers in Minneapolis.
Memorial mural of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Lorie Shaull.


Yesterday’s full conviction of Officer Derek Chauvin represents a collective exhale. A breath we have been holding as a nation for three weeks (and for many far longer) and a reminder of the breath George Floyd was denied as he cried out, “I can’t breathe.”

The guilty verdict will not bring George Floyd back to his daughter or to his community. But we do hope it provides a measure of relief to his family and to all who have been watching and waiting for this moment.

We also hope that this is the start of police accountability, in which those charged with protecting all citizens are held equally accountable for harming them, especially upon the news of at least two other Black and brown citizens killed by police violence this past week: Daunte Wright, 20, and Adam Toledo, who was just 13.

In Jewish tradition, we are in the middle of counting the Omer. Each of these 7 weeks between Passover and Shavuot holds a special spiritual quality. This week’s is Netzach – endurance. Netzach calls us to envision ourselves capable of transformation – to believe that our actions today will impact tomorrow and future generations. On this day of judgment, which has captivated our nation, may we envision the world we wish to live in and the world we wish our future generations will live in. May we endure the steps in the long and difficult journey it will take to make that vision a reality – a vision in which Black lives matter and in which we see every life as one of inherent value.

We send love and blessings especially to our Black and brown family and community members, who have endured the weight of racism, xenophobia, hatred, and fear for so long.

May this moment be one of transformation for our nation and may George Floyd’s memory be a blessing to all who loved him and all who say his name in the spirit of justice. Tzedek, tzedek tirdof- justice, justice you shall pursue.

Black lives matter.

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