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Statement on the Trial of Derek Chauvin
and the
Murders of George Floyd and Daunte Wright

This is a moment for grieving.

Although saddened by the recent news of Daunte’s murder, we are reminded of the humanity within our community. We can never fully brace ourselves for the loss of life; however, we can mourn and grieve together as a community. We can choose to allow ourselves and others to fully feel what we have lost as a community. We have strength in our communal engagement and support of one another. Join your brothers and sisters in truly allowing ourselves to feel. For it is our ability to feel that truly reveals our humanity. Arubah will always have its arms open to our community.

This is a moment for action.

Black Lives Matter. Black Mental Health Matters. As members of and in North Minneapolis, South Minneapolis, Brooklyn Center, and the wider metro area, we have been greatly affected by the murder of George Floyd, the trial of Derek Chauvin, and now the murder of Daunte Wright. These are only the latest and most public instances of police murder in our community. Our communities have been traumatized by police killings and then traumatized again by the overly aggressive police response to our grief. Our staff and clients know first-hand the kind of racialized state violence that occurs in Minnesota every day, of which police violence is only the tip of the spear. It is discriminatory housing practices, under-funded schools, higher rates of detention in schools and longer sentences for the same criminal offences, medical discrimination, criminalization of addictions, state benefit bureaucracies that are difficult to navigate and lead to lapses in coverage, employment discrimination, low wages, food deserts, disinvestment and economic neglect, unaffordable medical costs, and even the unaffordability of therapy. These are systemic issues that reach beyond the therapy room.

One example of “medicalized” racism was brought to light today. During the trial of Derek Chauvin, the defense called in a so-called expert on something called “Excited Delirium” which is a label not recognized by the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, or the American Psychiatric Association. This is a label given primarily by police to BIPOC who encounter police violence. It has been used to attempt to justify deaths after the use of a taser, or being in restraints, or other instances of excessive force by police. The defense may be attempting to justify the death of George Floyd with this explanation. We reject this completely. The criteria for “Excited Delirium” is unscientific and contains racial stereotypes. It is a tool to enact compliance. Arubah calls for the end to the practice of using the false label against BIPOC in the midst of panic and terror in order to justify use of force by police when there is no justification.

Love and solidarity forever,

The Arubah Team

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