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Activists Still Waiting for Police Changes on George Floyd Death Anniversary

Activists Still Waiting for Police Changes on George Floyd Death Anniversary

The murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, and the fervent protests that erupted around the world in response, seemed to many observers the necessary catalyst for a national recognition of policing racism in the United States.

For more than nine minutes, a white officer pressed one knee into the neck of Floyd, a black man, who gasped, “I can’t breathe.” The video footage of Floyd on May 25, 2020, was so agonizing to watch that demands for change sprang up across the country.

But amid the coronavirus pandemic, economic uncertainty and a divisive US presidential election, 2020 ended without the kind of major police reforms that many expected and others feared. Then 2021 and 2022 didn’t make much progress either.

Now, three years after Floyd’s murder, advocates of federal actions like banning chokeholds and arrest warrants, as well as changing so-called qualified immunity protections for law enforcement, are still waiting for signs of improvement. change.

Racial justice activists and their elected champions have not let up the pressure, but the beating to death of another African-American, Tire Nichols, at the hands of Memphis police officers in early January once again underscored the time it takes to achieve a significant change.

Shortly after Floyd’s murder, Minneapolis adopted a series of changes, including a ban on chokeholds and neck restraints, and requirements that police try to prevent their peers from using force inappropriately.

Minnesota lawmakers approved statewide police accountability packages in 2020 and 2021, as well as strict restrictions on no-notice warrants this month.

The city is still awaiting the results of a federal investigation into whether its police have engaged in a “pattern or practice” of unconstitutional or illegal policing.

Activists plan to mark the anniversary of Floyd’s death in Minneapolis with a candlelight vigil Thursday night in the plaza named for him. A festival in the square on Saturday will celebrate the change in Minneapolis.

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Written by Editor TLN

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