Despite his death galvanizing nationwide racial justice protests, law enforcement continues to brutalize Black folks the same way as they ever did.
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd died at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin who kneeled on his neck for 9 and 1/2 minutes. As Floyd pleaded for his life, even letting out an exasperated “I can’t breathe,” shocked bystanders looked on—one of them even recorded the murder.
Darnella Frazier, who was just 17 years old at the time, captured the ordeal on her camera phone and it immediately went viral on social media. It also galvanized the nation into action. Millions of demonstrators took to the streets—across the country as well as the world—to protest a stark reality that Black Americans have always known: we die at the hands of cops at higher rates and always for no reason.
Despite the breakthrough surrounding public consciousness, Black people are still being murdered on camera by cops with no end in sight.
Calls to defund the police led Minneapolis City Council members to announce tentative plans to replace their local department, though voters rejected the ballot measure. No-knock warrants were banned in Florida, Oregon, Connecticut, and Virginia while other states severely limited how they could be used.
A total of 17 states, including Minnesota, enacted legislation to ban or restrict chokeholds. Yesterday, President Biden signed an executive order designed to reform federal police practices and establish a national database of police misconduct. However, past tools that have been implemented—such as body cameras—do nothing to prevent cops from killing Black people.