May 31, 2020
We’ve reached a breaking point. The murders of George Floyd—and Breona Taylor, Tony McDade, and the other Black people whose lives were ended by police just this month—are only the latest in a centuries-long string of tragedies. But in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the state is openly treating Black communities as a surplus population to be culled by the virus, the arrogance and senselessness of the murder carried out by Officer Derek Chauvin crossed a line. Supported by hundreds of thousands across the US and beyond, the people of Minneapolis have made it clear that this intolerable situation must end, no matter what it takes.
Since the Ferguson uprising of 2014, considerable attention has focused on racist police killings in the United States. Reformers of many stripes have introduced new policies in hopes of reining in the violence. Yet according to the Police Shootings Database, the police killed more people in the US last year than in 2015. If police killings are continuing or even increasing despite widespread public attention and reform efforts, we need to revisit our strategy.
How can we bring an end to racist police murders once and for all?