Convicted on All Counts

AAUP president Irene Mulvey issued the following statement today.

We mourn again and forever the murder of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers last May. Our thoughts are with his family and friends for their tragic loss, and all they have been through. Our relief at learning that the jury returned a verdict of guilty on all counts is tempered by the realization that we were worried this would not be the case even after Mr. Floyd’s death was captured on a video that was seen around the world. Without taking anything away from the measure of justice delivered to Mr. Floyd’s family yesterday, we cannot forget so many other Black and brown people, some whose names are familiar and many whose names we will never know, killed at the hands of police. Today, one white police officer was held accountable, an event most significant for its rarity. This will not be a turning point in law enforcement accountability unless we make sure it becomes a turning point; there is still so much work to be done.

We stand in solidarity with people rising up and demanding accountability and racial justice. We have been brought to a moment of national reckoning by last year’s large-scale protests, and it is a moment we will not let pass. At the AAUP, we are unwavering in our commitment to moving forward in rooting out systemic racism in our Association, and working to dismantle institutional racism in higher education.

Our racial justice initiative is moving forward with hard work by elected leadership and staff members. We recognize that racial justice is integral to our work, and that we cannot carry out our mission without examining our policies, our practices, and our history, and understanding structural whiteness in our organization. Our work in this area continues.

We are grateful to the AAUP members and staff who formed our Campus Police Working Group. Their very detailed and comprehensive report will be issued shortly.  It  provides an historical overview of the development and militarization of campus police forces, and the role of campus police forces in perpetuating systemic racism and inequities in higher education. The report demonstrates the tensions between AAUP core values and campus policing. We look forward to disseminating this work to our chapters so they can initiate campaigns to transform campus public safety.

Having learned, with relief but no solace, of the guilty verdicts in the trial of one Minneapolis police officer, the AAUP today pledges to continue to keep working to make higher education anti-racist.

--Irene Mulvey, AAUP President

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, April 21, 2021