AG Miller: We must listen, learn and show respect to achieve justice

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DES MOINES ― Statement from Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller:

My colleague Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison recently was designated to lead the investigation into the tragic death of George Floyd. He quickly increased the charges against Derek Chauvin to second-degree murder and filed charges against the three other former officers. In less than a year and a half, Keith Ellison has become a trusted and well-respected colleague among the state attorneys general. I have worked closely with him and have seen a very high level of conviction, judgment and persistence. In my opinion, the investigation could not be in better hands.

Like many Iowans and Americans, I believe three things are clear:

– The death of George Floyd was tragic and despicable.
– The peaceful demonstrations are incredibly good.
– The riots and destruction are horrific.

As we go forward, I believe two elements are critical. Listening to people of color is very important. Learning and understanding what they feel, suffer, and know must be the starting point. And respect is necessary at every level to understand the minority community and to achieve the change that is needed.

For years, my staff and I have worked on policies to address the disparate impact on minorities, and African-Americans in particular, in the criminal justice system. We in the attorney general’s office will increasingly focus on developing solutions to make a real difference in the lives of people of color. We are open to all ideas. Let us know what you think.