This evening at 5:30 p.m., Evanston residents and the faith community will gather in the parking lot behind the Hilton Gardens Hotel at 1800 Maple for a peaceful vigil.
All Evanston residents are encouraged to attend.
The vigil will acknowledge the tremendous pain and loss that too many families continue to experience, to extend our condolences to George Floyd’s family, to affirm that Black Lives Matter, and to renew commitment to liberation, justice, and the eradication of systemic racism.
The event is sponsored by the Evanston/North Shore Branch NAACP and Evanston’s faith communities, including: Second Baptist Evanston; Beth Emet; Unitarian Church of Evanston; Grace Lutheran Church; Northminster Presbyterian Church of Evanston; St. Luke's Episcopal Church Evanston; St. Mark's Episcopal Church; and St. Matthew's Episcopal Church. From the organizers:
Yesterday, a court in Minneapolis delivered a long-sought legal outcome in the case of the murder of George Floyd.
Thankfully, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was held accountable for his actions resulting in George Floyd’s death, and many across the country have breathed a sigh of relief that justice had been done.
Yet no conviction and no prison sentence can compensate for the loss suffered by George Floyd’s family. Nor does Derek Chauvin’s murder conviction lessen the fear that people of color experience when they interact with the police.
For this one case in which a police officer was convicted, so many others officers have avoided punishment for needless acts of violence against civilians. For this one incident caught on video, there are so many for which no footage exists.
Across our country, many upstanding police officers endeavor to carry out their duties with a sense of moderation and restraint. Still, year after year, far too many people—especially people of color—are harmed by police officers without due cause, which indicates that the system of policing in our country needs a radical rethinking.
A measure of justice was exacted yesterday for one family, but, as Vice President Kamala Harris said following the verdict, “A measure of justice isn’t the same as equal justice.”
There is still much work to be done to create a society in which all people are treated with fairness and with respect for their humanity. Until that work is done, we should continue to recite the name of George Floyd, along with the names of countless other victims of police violence and, most important, we should demand change.