FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 21, 2021
Government Accountability Project Statement on the Derek Chauvin Trial Verdict
WASHINGTON—Government Accountability Project hailed the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial not only as a mandate for justice, but also for demonstrating the essential role of whistleblowers in enforcing accountability.
Government Accountability Project Executive Director and CEO Louis Clark stated,
“The Chauvin verdict is a victory for truth over deadly abuse of power.”
Whistleblowers are those who exercise freedom of speech to challenge abuses of power that betray the public trust. The Chauvin trial was a rare example where law enforcement officials testified against a colleague, rather than circling the wagon. However, none of this would have occurred absent the bravery of citizen witnesses who filmed the truth for the world, and justice system, to see.
Despite this, a global spotlight combined with undeniable evidence is not the norm for police abuses. Many occur when there are no witnesses besides a fellow officer. Without reforms for a safe channel of the truth, we cannot count on justice as the rule.
We are working with fellow whistleblower groups in asking Congress to protect those who blow the whistle against police abuses of power, including law enforcement officers, citizens, and victims themselves. Whether they can safely bear witness will determine whether reforms such as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act make a difference.
Our Legal Director Tom Devine explained,
“Unless we protect those who provide the evidence, new controls on police abuses will not be worth the paper they are written on. Police murders always have been illegal. The Chauvin verdict is a crack in the blue wall of silence, but that is not enough. The whole wall needs to come down. Unless those who share the truth have whistleblower protection, police can continue to commit crimes with impunity.”
Contact: Andrew Harman, Government Accountability Project Communications Director
Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, Government Accountability Project’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, Government Accountability Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.