Councilmember Taplin Statement on Chauvin Verdict and Berkeley Police Audit

April 22, 2021

“The verdict delivered in Minneapolis is not what justice looks like—what we saw was the bare minimum of public accountability,” said Berkeley City Councilmember Terry Taplin (District 2). “Justice would mean George Floyd being alive today, known mostly for his art and love for his family. Just as peace is not merely the absence of strife, justice is a task that goes beyond holding systemic racism accountable. It also means repairing historic harms and investing in prosperity and freedom for Black and brown people in this country.

The Berkeley City Auditor’s report on police stops released today reinforces previous findings on racial disparities in policing. Black individuals were stopped at significantly higher rates relative to their share of the city’s population (34% of stops vs. 8% of the population). Additionally, Black and Latinx people were searched at higher rates than White and Asian people. I’m committed to Berkeley’s Reimagining Public Safety process, and will be closely monitoring the city’s Reimagining Public Safety Task Force as it consults with the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform. Reimagining is one step we are taking together; the next step is implementing evidence-based policy to repair the harms of institutional racism and build a more harmonious, peaceful future. I am grateful to City Auditor Jenny Wong for gathering this evidence.”