Reaction to the Chauvin Verdict
(April 21, 2021) - A jury convicted Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on all charges in the death of George Floyd. Bishop Deon Johnson and Deacon Chester Hines issued these statements after the verdict was read.
“This is what the LORD Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.’” -Zechariah 7:9
There have been many reactions to the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial; relief, anger, hurt, disappointment, grief. No matter the reactions, no matter the feelings, the lives of two families have been shattered irreparably. There are no winners, because two lives, two families, both precious in God’s sight, have been forever lost and broken.
As people of faith, we look toward justice and not toward vengeance and we know that justice is always companioned with mercy. May God’s infinite mercy surround our nation as we continue to be fractured by division and disunity. We are reminded that we must continue to engage in the ongoing justice-centered work of racial reckoning in our ongoing walk with Jesus.
I invite you therefore to pray for the Floyd and Chauvin families. Pray for peace in our communities, that we may look towards justice and not vengeance. Pray and act for an end to the scourge of racism in our country. Pray that we my live into the ideal of equality and equity for all God’s beloved people.
Let us pray:
O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Rt. Rev. Deon K. Johnson
Eleventh Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri
Today in the verdict of the George Floyd trial we witnessed the first step in the process of change and transformation in how people of color can and must be seen in the totality of community. We are a part of this great American experiment called democracy and must receive all the rights, benefits and processes that are afforded to white citizens. I believe that is what we saw in this chapter of the George Floyd saga. To God be the glory.
The Rev. Deacon Chester Hines
Deacon at Holy Communion Episcopal Church, University City
and Chair of the Diocesan Dismantling Racism Commission