Inside the Black Lives Matter movement | FT

The killing of George Floyd has focused attention on allegations of police brutality and racial profiling, and sparked calls for justice and reform. The FT’s Don Newkirk speaks to protest organisers, activists and lawmakers calling for change.

I wanted to be a part of changing the narrative around black protestors and organizers right now because a lot of the media is portraying us to be the ones raising violence and looting stores and burning down buildings the year is 2020 we are witnessing protests around the world after the police killing of george floyd an unarmed african-american a white minneapolis

Police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck as he pleaded i can’t breathe for nearly nine minutes his death comes less than three months after police shot dead health worker brianna taylor at her home in a no-knock search one and only three weeks after video surfaced online of a father and son shooting get a matar burry who was out jogging and even as protesters

In every state continue to rail against systematic racism and the use of deadly force another killing occurs only 18 days into the george floyd protests a white police officer shoots dead rashard brooks outside of a wendy’s restaurant in atlanta on the protestors they’re outraged and by the way i agree with them what happened to mr. floyd was a disgrace it was

Repugnant to america it was repugnant to any good policing perspective or strategy or approach the demonstrations themselves have led to further allegations of police abuse of power join comparisons to the civil rights protests of the 1960s many feel this sense of injustice in america expressed by martin luther king still hasn’t been addressed somewhere i

Read of the freedom of assembly somewhere i read of the freedom of speech somewhere of the freedom of press somewhere i read that the greatness of america is the right to protest fair right we live in a country where it’s our constitutional right to assemble and to make our voices heard and to challenge what’s happening at every stage of government black people

Marginalized communities the reason why you are our fourth the rights you have today is because of protests and riots and i hope that it’s clear now more than ever the importance of protesting and standing your ground against injustice across this world looting and rioting as sometimes taking place alongside the protests the president wants to talk about just looting

Because if he’s talking about looting he doesn’t have to talk about the killing of mr. floyd and he doesn’t want to talk about the killing of mr. floyd and he doesn’t want to talk about reforming the justice system he doesn’t want to talk about that so he wants to say they’re all looters they’re not own looters the role of police satan historically this is not my

Opinion it’s the historical role of policing is that they were the first slave patrols and the first border patrol’s one of america’s early forms of policing where the runaway sleigh patrols in the south groups of white men would often hunt down and often kill slaves trying to escape or revolt when the civil war ended and slavery was abolished sleeper trolls fed

Into the first modern police departments then for around a hundred years the jim crow segregation laws disenfranchise the black community it was the police’s job to enforce two laws sometimes brutally in the 1960s police played a key role in suppressing the civil rights movement we have to remind ourselves that when an entity’s origins really come out of racism

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And anti black racism in particular that origin actually evolves as our origin has evolved as our country has evolved and so guess or we’re not technically enslaving people to a plantation we have created a new economy which is an economy of punishment and which police become the center after three weeks of protests president donald trump signed an executive order

To reform police practices the order encouraged officials to ban the use of choke holds except where an officer’s life is at risk but the president rejected calls for deeper change that included redirecting police funding there have also been demands to cut back the number of armed officers even the scrap police forces all together americans want law and order

They demand long order they may not say it they may not be talking about it but that’s what they want some of them don’t even know that’s what they want but that’s what they want and they understand that when you remove the police you hurt those who have the least the most opponents said the measures will not deliver a meaningful change the frustration of having

It be six years out from the last massive set of protests i think that what you have you have people who were young and thought ferguson was going to change and the it’s not the similarity the exact replication of what happened previously that’s exhausting to somebody sold it it’s just is when you compound that with the fact that we’ve had three months of being

Told to stay inside in a lot of these places and that law enforcement have enforced that in disparate ways across the country you had a powder keg and it didn’t even need a match it just needed a hot day i understand the concerns but whether you stay inside or you go outside it’s still the same risk and as black people we don’t have the luxury to just sit inside

And do nothing whether i sit inside or go outside i can be killed simply based off the color of my skin so yes during the middle of a global pandemic this country has forced black people to put their lives on the line not just dealing with koban 19 but also racism so we have to put our bodies on the line to fight against two viruses shame on this country shame on

America and shame on donald trump period data from a leaked nypd police report also showed that blacks and hispanics i’ve made up for 90% of a restaurant 819 lockdown it was evident that social distancing were not enforced in certain white areas where you went to the pier and so everybody just laying down and relaxing and the police officers were going around and

Giving them a mess but meanwhile in many of our communities the police officers were coming to arrest us why not give us a mass when i say hey can you like separate yourself for six to six feet so that just shows you that racial profiling discriminatory bias profiling still exists 375 million interactions overwhelmingly positive responses overwhelmingly positive

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Responses but i read in the papers all week we all read in the papers that in the black community mothers are worried about their children getting home from school without being killed by a cop what world are we living in that doesn’t happen it does not happen studies show that in the u.s. police officers are almost four times more likely to use force on black

People than white people and despite being only 13% of the population black americans are three times more likely to be killed by police than white americans we need to actually move in a direction where we address why black people don’t matter not just the other people say vigilantes but also to government agencies to law enforcement why are we able to be treated

As second-class citizens and then i say you know when black lives do actually matter that will be the day when all lives matter in america black people are treated very much as a vietnamese people or any other colonized people because we’re used we’re brutalized the police in our community occupy our area our community as a foreign troops occupy territory and the

Police are there not to in our community not to promote our welfare or for our security our safety but they’re there to contain us to brutalize and murderers and black lives matter makes the point that you’ve had a string of killing of african americans primarily men but women also brianna taylor that goes on and on and on and on and why does the criminal justice

System unfairly kill african-americans individual states have passed on more far-reaching bills in new york that means statewide body cameras the right to record police a ban on choke holds and greater transparency on officer disciplinary records there are also moves against racial profiling we have been moved by the voice of the people with the protesting and

Activists they were able to help us move police reform bills there were city years it would not have everybody’s trying to shame us the legislators the press everybody’s trying to shame us into being embarrassed about our profession but you know what this isn’t stained by someone in minneapolis it still got a shine on it and so do theirs so do this my demands

Aren’t to police departments my demands and our demands is actually to our elected officials like mayor’s i like county where supervisors like governors they’re the ones that control the budgets of law enforcement so we need them to make different decisions on what they’re funding if you were to eliminate some of the police officers we certainly wouldn’t want it

To be the black and brown police officers if anything we want to hire black and brown police officers as they have a better relationship with us so i think the fund had a different meaning it was disband reallocate but i think overall no city is gonna completely dismantle their police department because the whole city would be at risk of crimes what the president

Rejected calls to defund the police we have to find common ground but i strongly oppose the radical and dangerous efforts to defend dismantle and dissolve our police departments especially now when we’ve achieved the lowest recorded crime rates in recent history americans know the truth without police there is chaos without law there is anarchy and without safety


There is catastrophe a report on forced budgets around the country has shown that the u.s. spends a hundred billion dollars a year on policing and in new york less than 8% of its almost six billion dollar budget is spent on community programs if you go into a mostly poor area mostly black poor area what you’ll see is the same thing across the country no access

To jobs no access to healthy food very little access to health care or mental health care all the things people need in order to thrive in their communities you know what you will see instead of those things is a deep deep investment into law enforcement so they’ll see multiple police precincts you’ll see dozens of police cars patrolling areas you’ll see the very

Often mostly black men but also black women pulled out of the cars and handcuffed and waiting on the side you’ll see significant amount of harassment but you won’t see black coming is getting the resources that they need so that they can raise their children healthy so they can be healthy themselves if these elected officials in office and people that are running

For office do not agree to implement policies that will change lives around these issues and agree to help reconstruct this system that was never built to benefit us we will vote you out of office and if you’re run for office you will never make it into that chair the face of albany in the new york state legislature have changed drastically you have women you have

Black women latino women black men latino men you have asian you have lgbtq you have a diverse set of people who come to the chamber to fight for the rights of the people that they’re representing and so if we didn’t have all of us these bills would not these police reform bills would not have passed this opportunity to call for defunding law enforcement and

Reallocating those dollars back into our communities is really a call to call for mental health mental health care a call for adequate public education a call for adequate housing a call for healthy food and a call for us having access to being able to thrive and not just survive i mean you have all the stuff that we’re constantly fighting to make sure it definitely

Bridge the gap whether it’s environmental issues whether it’s housing health economic education quality of life jobs whatever it may be we’re fighting on a broad spectrum and so police reform on its own cannot start with thousands of people now nan finally we what’s organized by young i think the end of violence is to get rid of our to annihilate the opponent

But in the nonviolent movement the end is to convert the opponent and to bring about a society where all men will live together as brothers and every man will respect the dignity and worth of human personality you

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Inside the Black Lives Matter movement | FT By Financial Times

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