This system will not deliver justice

A statement from Women's Voices, Women Speak.

An official statement regrading the not-guilty verdict in the Christopher Deedy murder trial from community group Womenʻs Voices, Women Speak, read out loud at the Kollin Elderts March through Waikiki held last Friday.

August 15, 2014

We are Womenʻs Voices, Women Speak and we are here today to express our support for the family of Kollin Elderts and to express our outrage and our horror over this verdict. This verdict is a travesty. Despite what this jury has announced, we know that Christopher Deedy murdered Kollin Elderts. Christopher Deedy was not here to protect our community. He was here terrorizing our community.

And now three years after that criminal APEC conference, we feel the trauma of his murder again and again. We demand that Deedy’s badge be revoked. He should be fired from his job. He should be convicted, and sent to prison. Then he should offer his apology to Elderts family for the irrevocable harm he has caused, and plead for their forgiveness. Maybe then the path to justice and healing could begin.

But we all know that this system will not deliver justice or healing. The Kanaka Maoli community knows this. Young men of color all over the continent know this. The people in Gaza know this. But that knowledge will not stop us all from demanding justice. We demand real justice and genuine security. Not the security they are selling us. Not the security of another war or another militarized police force. We won’t give up hope that another world is possible. And even on this sad day, we march together knowing no act of solidarity is in vain.

To the family of Kollin Elderts, we stand with you, and we are here to let you know you do not grieve alone. We will demand justice for Kollin by fighting for a law in his name to forbid any police officer from drinking alcohol while carrying a gun. It should be illegal to do so whether an officer is on duty and when the officer is off duty as well.   

We are Women’s Voices Women Speak, and we demand genuine security, genuine peace and genuine sovereignty for our families, our communities, and our precious island home. Mahalo and mālama pono.

Photo by Ed Greevy