By: Olivia Armstrong, Writer / Follow South Jersey News Reporting Intern
TRENTON, N.J. — Governor Phil Murphy released a statement on May 25 to mark the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty of murder in the case.
“Over the past year, millions of Americans from every possible background have marched, protested, advocated, and prayed together. Together, we have come face-to-face with America’s long history of inequality and systemic racism,” Gov. Murphy said in his statement. “We will not accept this as just another part of our national condition. Instead, we have focused our energies on eliminating deep-seated racial inequities in wages, health care, housing, education, and in treatment by law enforcement.”
Although Floyd’s death and the subsequent criminal trial took place halfway across the country, the story’s reach extended far beyond Minnesota. Images of cell-phone video depicting Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes thrust the Black Lives Matter movement back into the national spotlight, sparking protests and gatherings throughout the world. South Jersey honored Floyd’s life and spoke out in favor of change with its own protest in Millville last June.
At a higher level, Floyd’s death has led to many different state governments instituting changes to their policing procedures, and New Jersey is no exception.
“In New Jersey, we have enacted new laws to require that body cameras be worn by members of law enforcement and for the Attorney General to independently investigate officer-involved deaths and to present evidence before a grand jury,” Gov. Murphy said in a statement. “We are updating use-of-force guidelines for the first time in a generation. And we support efforts to enhance transparency in making the disciplinary records of law enforcement public.”
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This article was produced by a Follow South Jersey news intern thanks to a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Jersey Health Initiatives program to create hyper-local news to meet the informational and health needs of the City of Bridgeton, N.J.