Black Lives Matter co-founder says 'broken' justice system must be ABOLISHED so there are 'no jails or prisons' in US
BLACK Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors has called for the abolition of the entire criminal justice system in the America following the conviction of Derek Chauvin.
White cop Chauvin faces up to 75 years in jail after he murdered black man George Floyd by kneeling on his neck – with him being convicted in a landmark case that sparked international outrage.
Cullors hailed the verdict as a "victory in accountability" – but said Floyd's murder and the recent shooting of Ma'Khia Bryant prove the criminal justice system is "broken".
The activist, who set up BLM with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi back in 2013, told her 371,000 followers on Instagram that now was the time to "fight for more".
She said she envisions an America where there are "no jails or prisons of surveillance".
"When I heard the guilty verdicts I felt two things. I felt a big overwhelming sense of I hope that makes George Floyd's family feel better. I hope they feel some justice was given to them," Cullors said.
She went on: "I also felt like I am ready to fight for more. I am ready to move us toward abolition.
"I'm ready to get us closer to a place where there are no jails or prisons or surveillance."
Cullors, 37, argued that Floyd's death was proof of a "broken" system and questions whether Chauvin's conviction should be cause for celebration.
She said: "A guilty cop was convicted of all the charges, was convicted of murder. We don't see that often. We rarely see this.
"It's not a sign that our criminal justice system is working it's actually a sign that it's broken, it's a sign that it's never worked for us and that we have to move toward abolition."
"In an abolitionist world we would still have George Floyd," she added, and said the verdict was "not a victory toward abolition".
Cullors said the death of Bryant within the "same breath" as the jury reading out the verdict on Chauvin shows there is "no justice" or "freedom" for black people in America.
Bryant was killed just minutes before Chauvin's sentence was read out during an incident in Columbus, Ohio.
The 16-year-old was shot dead by a cop while she was lunging at a woman with a knife.
Bryant had called the cops herself during a row over housekeeping, and claimed she wanted protection from another group of girls who had threatened violence.
Video shows the teen wielding a knife and appearing to go to stab a woman moments before she is shot, but critics argue lethal force should not have been the cop's first reaction.
Cullors said: "Ma'Khia Bryant was 16 years old and shot in the chest multiple times by Columbus police.
"This is why black people are in so much pain, this is why black people must have abolition, this is why our country must have abolition."
Cullors compare the Floyd case to the trial of George Zimmerman in 2013, who was acquitted for shooting dead black teenager Trayvon Martin in Sandford, Florida.
She said: "I watched this trial pretty much daily. Something that was very different from this trial from the trial of George Zimmerman's was that I actually felt like everyone was on the right side of history.
"I felt like people were listening and thinking about anti black racism in a way that I have never seen inside a trial and that was powerful."
The activist urged her followers to "imagine abolition" and a place where "black people can live freely, where we can live our full whole lives, where we are not gunned down by the police".
Cullors has long campaigned for transformative justice with law enforcement resources repurposed the support communities through education and healthcare.
Questions over the future of policing in the US have dominated the agenda since the killing of Floyd and a number of other high profile shootings, such as the deaths of Breonna Taylor and Daunte Wright.
The slogan "Defund The Police" as become a popular trope on the left, and Joe Biden will use his speech to Congress next week to call for police reform.
Meanwhile, Chauvin faces a further probe as prosecutors lobby to have him charged over a 2017 incident where he allegedly knelt on a 14-year-old boy for 17 minutes.
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