Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission

Ruling in Chauvin Trial Gives Systemic Racism a Nod

PHRC statement on the verdict of former officer Derek Chauvin's trial for the murder of George Floyd

HARRISBURG, PA – "Despite nearly a year of protests, civil unrest and cries of "Black Lives Matter" brought forth by the May 25, 2020 tragic death of George Floyd at the knee of Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, the verdict of the Chauvin trial shows that the stranglehold of racism and disregard for the humanity of those who happen to be born in black or brown skin has not been loosened," PHRC Executive Director Chad Dion Lassiter, MSW, said.

"George Floyd, and so many others of color, simply should not have died. This verdict proves that we have much work to do and is a call for the Commonwealth and the nation to follow suit and make the necessary changes to dismantle systemic racism and bias in our institutions, communities, schools and our homes. Let us take this moment and use it to move forward towards change with new resolve. Our hearts break for all those who are furious and frustrated over this decision, but we urge you to move forward in the spirit of peace, calm and perseverance."

Pennsylvania's leading social justice enforcement agency, PHRC docketed 1,646 discrimination cases from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. In the past year, the agency provided unconscious bias and ethnic intimidation trainings to more than 20 police departments across the state. PHRC's anti-racism advocates design specific aspects of each course to best address the needs of its participants. The programs are recorded and used for subsequent training.   PHRC's goal is to provide a bridge that spans the gap between officers and the community they serve to help build relationships. Additionally, PHRC has presented more than 80 virtual educational, anti-racism and advocacy programs.

"This shows us that we must continue our fight to address and dismantle systemic racism in America," PHRC Chief Counsel Samuel Rivera said. "PHRC will continue to play its vital role in eradicating racism and ethnic intimidation across the state."


About PA Human Relations Commission (PHRC):

The PA Human Relations Commission (PHRC) promotes equal opportunity for all and enforces Pennsylvania's civil rights laws that protect people from unlawful discrimination. As Pennsylvania's leading civil justice enforcement agency, it is our vision that all people in Pennsylvania will live, work, and learn free from unlawful discrimination. For more information or to file a claim, visit:


PHRC Media Contact Details

Amanda Brothman

Communications Director 771-856-5971
Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission Media