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Message to the Community on the Chauvin Trial

Message to the Community on the Chauvin Trial

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740


Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 6:19 p.m.


A jury today in Minneapolis, Minnesota returned a guilty verdict on all three counts. Many in our community and across the country have expressed strong emotions and a call for change over the past several months. The conversations shined a light on what can happen when police use-of-force decisions result in a tragic death and the impact that has on trust in law enforcement. It also gave new voice to feelings and emotions among communities of color that have struggled to be heard.

As your elected and law enforcement leaders, we recognize the immense trauma and pain this trial and other use-of-force incidents have brought to our community, especially among Black community members and other people of color. Out of that hurt must come change. This has to be an opportunity for law enforcement to work side-by-side with communities of color to make a meaningful difference in the relationship between officers and the community.

In Spokane, we have made great strides in how we meet and interact with each other. We have also heard very clearly from our communities of color that we can continue to do better.

There are no winners even with today’s guilty verdict. Mr. Floyd’s loved ones still suffer and our community still feels a sense of trauma that comes with loss. We hear that, recognize the anger, and are committed to working together on reforms that will improve equitable outcomes and enhance the safety of our community, particularly for our neighbors of color.

On this raw day, many will have an understandable emotional response. Please make your voice heard peacefully and respectfully and know that as elected and law enforcement leaders we support your right to do so without putting anyone’s lives or livelihoods at risk.