Brittany Packnett Cunningham on Chauvin: ‘One officer on trial doesn’t end police violence’

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Activist and writer Brittany Packnett Cunningham appeared on news outlet MSNBC to discuss the upcoming trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin who is charged in the death of George Floyd.

Read More: House’s George Floyd bill praised by family attorney, but activists push back

“We have to remember that the nation will be gripped by this trial,” she declared on the broadcast. “It will capture all of our attention. There will be an obsession with it, and still, an officer on trial doesn’t end police violence any more than electing President [Barack] Obama or Vice President [Kamala] Harris ended racism.”

She continued, “We are always talking about systems. We are never just talking about one officer. We are never just talking about bad apples. We’re talking about rotten systems, and we need to make sure we never confuse justice for accountability.

Justice is a living breathing George Floyd, accountability is what Derek Chauvin is facing right now. There is a difference and the ultimate work that we’re trying to do is to make sure that Black people can live thriving lives without fear of being shot dead by the people who are supposed to serve and protect us.”

META Convened By BET
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 20:Activist Brittany Packnett attends META Convened by BET at Milk Studios on June 20, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)

“This is going to be a heavy week. It starts with the start of the Derek Chauvin trial, and it ends in the anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s killing,” she wrote, sharing the clip on Twitter. “We just never, ever confused justice for accountability. George & Breonna should be alive. The struggle doesn’t end in the courts.”

Read More: Minneapolis taps paid influencers to combat false info in trials over George Floyd death

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, jury selection has been delayed in the trial as Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill hears from the Court of Appeals as the prosecution attempts to add a third-degree murder charge to the counts of second-degree murder and manslaughter.

“The state is fully ready to go to trial, but the trial must be conducted in accordance with the rules and the law,” Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a statement late Monday. Ellison leads the prosecution team.

“Now that Mr. Chauvin has stated his intention to appeal Friday’s Court of Appeals ruling to the Minnesota Supreme Court, as is his right, the District Court does not have jurisdiction to conduct jury selection or hear and rule on other substantive matters in the trial.”

Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson plans to ask the State Supreme Court to overturn the ruling.

Derek Chauvin thegrio.com
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin poses for a mugshot after being charged in the death of George Floyd. Eight correctional officers have filed a lawsuit against Ramsey County Adult Detention Center after the facility reassigned them once Chauvin arrived. (Photo by Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office via Getty Images)

As the trial will officially start soon, George Floyd’s family has spoken out about the emotional toll the entire experience has caused. theGrio reported his brother Philonise Floyd shared how he believes the video evidence should prove to the jury the intent of Chauvin’s deadly actions while serving as a police officer.

“The video is enough, there is nothing else to talk about you can make your judgment off of that,” said Philonise, according to the report. “Because Chauvin showed you he was the judge, the jury, and the executioner all at once right then and there when he took my brother’s soul from his body.”

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act was recently passed by the House and effectively bans chokeholds and “qualified immunity” for police officers.

“You need police but we also need an understanding,” he remarked, according to theGrio. “We shouldn’t have to engage with you we shouldn’t have to do certain things like fear for our lives we shouldn’t have to do that. Just like they made federal laws to protect a bird which is the bald eagle, you can make federal laws to protect people of color.

America needs to be healed right now our nation needs healing. I’ll come to anyone who wants to make social change and stop systemic racism, we need to get together because we are stronger in numbers.”

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