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MDCR Interim Director John E. Johnson Jr., Issues Statement in Response to the Sentencing of Derek Chauvin

June 25, 2021

Contact: Vicki Levengood,

LANSING, MI-John E. Johnson, Jr., Interim Executive Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, has issued the following statement in response to the sentencing of Derek Chauvin to 22 and half years in prison for the murder of George Floyd.

"The 22 and a half year sentence handed down to Derek Chauvin was not only justified, we hope it will help the country heal from the deep wound of George Floyd's murder. Of course, much remains to be done to ensure what happened to George Floyd is not repeated in this country again. This horrible event is only one in a long list of unwarranted killings of people of color at the hands of the police sworn to protect them. A guilty verdict and a long prison sentence alone cannot undo generations of systemic and structural bias and racism. We must recommit to actively working to reform the system that allows for these unconscionable acts to continue. Consequently, we urge our state and federal legislatures to enact laws that will help to abate future atrocities. But we also realize that true criminal justice reform will only occur when our three branches of state and federal government collectively participate to effect change."

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission was created by the Michigan Constitution to safeguard constitutional and legal guarantees against discrimination. The Commission is charged with investigating alleged discrimination against any person because of religion, race, color or national origin, genetic information, sex, age, marital status, height, weight, arrest record, and physical and mental disability. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights serves as the operational arm of the Commission.

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