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On the Conviction of the Murderer of George Floyd, What Is Next?

     

We all experienced a range of emotions on Tuesday as Derek Chauvin was found guilty on three charges in George Floyd’s death: relief that justice was served in this case, and sadness for Mr. Floyd’s family. All our thoughts remain with Mr. Floyd’s family who are forever changed by his loss.

But we know our work is far from over in combatting structural racism as a country or as a field.  The past year and our history impose heavy mental health burdens on Black Americans and other people of color, and these burdens won’t be lifted by an isolated incident of one jury making the right choice. 

As psychiatrists we need to continue to inform our work with this knowledge. If you have not already, I urge to you read the research on the impacts of viewing violent racist attacks first-hand and on social media. Take a look at how the APA Presidential Task Force to Address Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry documents the ways racism impacts our patients.  Get involved with APA’s Division of Diversity and Health Equity and read their resources on treating patients from different backgrounds.

Today, we recommit to our work as an association on dismantling structural racism within our organization and our field. We applaud those who stood up and called out racism in our country whether in the last year or over the course of our history. It is our strong belief and hope that with continued work we can reach an equitable, healthy and just future for all Americans.

Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A.
CEO and Medical Director
American Psychiatric Association

     

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