Protests spread from Minneapolis in the wake of George Floyd’s death
Protest in Minneapolis (Photo: Chad Davis/CC 2.0)
Protests have spread throughout the United States in the past two weeks. After a white officer in Minneapolis kneeled on the neck of George Floyd, a black man, for 9 minutes until he lost consciousness and died, the city erupted in protest and calls for justice.
Protests began immediately in Minneapolis, calling for charges to be filed against the four involved officers, demanding accountability for law enforcement as one of many systemic reforms. The officer has been charged with second-degree murder (changed from an original charge in the third-degree) and second-degree manslaughter. The other three officers on the scene were charged on Wednesday afternoon with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Demonstrations and calls for reform have since become international, with protestors in cities like London and Paris echoing the calls of U.S. activists. Clashes between protestors and law enforcement in cities have contrasted with deescalation in other areas. Mayor Ras Baraka’s contact and dialogue with the Newark, NJ community has been central to his strategy, according to the New York Times’ Tracey Tully and Kevin Armstrong. Elsewhere, cities have seen accusations of excessive use of force, launching investigations after videos of law enforcement firing rubber bullets and using tear gas on journalists and protestors circulated.
Cities like New York and Los Angeles have instituted curfews, with some states calling in the National Guard as looting and violence became a part of some protests. Officials, protestors and activist leaders have been vocal in urging individuals to stop property damage and theft.
Policies and reform efforts have been proposed by activists and protestors. Has your local government announced or made policy changes in the wake of these protests? Use the Action Button below to speak directly with your state representatives and governor to discuss the ongoing protests, civil rights legislation, law enforcement policies and your community.
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