In the wake of George Floyd’s killing in May 2020, protesters across the country called for police reform and other changes to address systemic racism in the United States. A year later, what progress has been made? Where do the movements go from here?
PBS NewsHour’s Amna Nawaz was joined by the Center For Policing Equity’s Tracie Keesee and journalist Justin Ellis as they took your questions on the state of police reforms and other calls to action around the country.
Watch the conversation in the player above.
Keesee previously was the first-ever deputy commissioner of equity and inclusion for New York City Police Department (NYPD) and served 25 years in the Denver Police Department. Ellis is a Minneapolis native and is writing a book about Black life in the city.
Floyd, a Black man, was unarmed when white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. The incident, captured on cell phone video, surveillance cameras and police bodycams, led to a jury conviction last month on counts of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Sentencing is scheduled for June.
The social justice movements that followed led many Americans to examine the role of policing in communities and how race plays a role in everyday life.
There are more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the United States, so experts say changes would have to be largely made at the local level.
“It’s going to be a decision that’s made community by community, how they want to respond to this horrific murder that we all saw,” Alexis Karteron, associate professor of law and director of the Constitutional Rights Clinic at Rutgers University, told the PBS NewsHour in April.
Phillip Atiba Goff, co-founder and CEO of the Center for Policing Equity and professor of African American studies and psychology at Yale University, believes any changes that have happened so far in the U.S. have been piecemeal — but are still progress.
“That’s going to be ultimately unsatisfying when we’re looking at it in a national lens. But it’s going to create the models that make it possible to see full national change,” he said on the PBS NewsHour.