Here’s how Jewish organizations reacted to the Derek Chauvin verdict

WASHINGTON – Jewish organizations responded on Tuesday to the verdict in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd.The Jewish Community Relations Council of Washington (JCRC) released a statement saying it welcomes “this step towards justice and healing.”“We express solidarity with the African-American community and reiterate our commitment to fighting the systemic racism that set the stage for Floyd’s brutal killing,” the statement reads.“We all have a responsibility to do more than feel outrage that George Floyd was murdered,” Ronald Paul, president of JCRC, and Ron Halber, executive director of JCRC, said in the statement. “His slaying is one recent example of the toxic structural racism that has resulted in the murders of African-Americans throughout our nation’s history.“Here in Greater Washington, we heed the call to achieve a society free of racism; a society where communities of color feel and know they will be protected, rather than abused, by the law and its officers,” they said.“As we said when George Floyd was killed, the Jewish people will not be bystanders to injustice,” they added. “Our values commit us to introspection and action; to dismantling institutionalized racism in America; and to working with our African-American and intergroup partners to build a better and more just Washington region. That is why our JCRC prioritizes racial justice and police reform in our legislative agenda,” the statement reads.Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and senior vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism, said in a statement: “Today’s jury decision finding Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts ends an important chapter in the pursuit of justice for George Floyd and his family. Yet the national outcry for racial justice sparked by George Floyd’s murder continues across the United States and world as we pursue an end to the systemic racism that disproportionately claims the lives of black people, and men in particular.”

Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of T’ruah, said: “We applaud the decision of a jury to hold former officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all three counts after he choked the life out of George Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds.“Although one police officer has been held accountable today, the conviction addresses merely a single instance of state violence,” Jacobs said. “George Floyd should still be alive today. Daunte Wright should still be alive today. Adam Toledo should still be alive today. Breonna Taylor should be alive today.“As moral leaders, we strive to replace these systems of injustice with systems of righteousness,” the statement reads. “We fight for an end to state violence that primarily endangers black Americans and other communities of color, and for the establishment of systems grounded in human rights that enable all of us to live in safety, rather than using police to protect some members of society at the expense of others.”Democratic Majority for Israel released a statement as well. “Mr. Floyd cannot be returned to his family and loved ones, so justice can never be fully done, but we hope today’s conviction brings them some comfort and allows them to begin healing,” it reads.“This verdict represents an important step toward addressing the grave injustices he and so many other people of color have suffered. DMFI will continue to advocate for policies that will dismantle the systemic racism that still plagues our country,” DFMI said.

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