The Institute Leadership Team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas has consistently written statements that call for accountability of police and that decry the lack of individual and collective responsibility for these extrajudicial killings. A change in these systems must come and must come swiftly. We recognize that while justice may have been served in this trial, no justice will bring George Floyd back to his family nor bring a sense of safety for our brothers and sisters in the Black community. We ask ourselves: What does justice even look like when a man loses his life in this way?
We hold in our hearts and minds the Black men, women and children who have been traumatized by the killing of George Floyd as well as the Chauvin trial. While the jurors heard testimony and deliberated, George Floyd’s family and friends had to relive his wrongful death with each statement and public report.
We are aware that it is not just the Floyd family and friends who relive this trauma. It is every Black man and woman who has been stopped by police and feared this result, and every Black person who goes about their daily routines knowing their lives are not valued in the same way as those who are white.
We acknowledge the continual racial trauma, collective anxiety that impacts Black and Brown communities. We seek to respond with the compassion and intention that we are called to as Christians and as Sisters of Mercy. We keep vigil with our sisters, associates, staff members and friends who carry the heavy burden of this moment in ways people of privilege cannot fathom.
We must ALL ground ourselves in prayer and in presence as we live in this tension.