The real-life changes won by the protests
Marchers have delivered a clear message in the 19 days since George Floyd was killed — change how America's police treat black people, and do it now.
The big picture: If you look beyond the symbolic gestures and focus on the concrete actions, there's a good deal of there there, even if it's still insufficient.
Here is just a partial list of the actions under way because of the protests:
- Tactical rule changes: Dallas and Minneapolis mandated officers intervene when a colleague is using excessive force. Seattle banned the covering of badge numbers. Minneapolis banned chokeholds. Houston banned most of them. New York made them illegal.
- Budget cuts: Los Angeles is considering cutting its police budget by up to $150 million. NYC is considering cuts, but hasn't disclosed specific numbers.
- Defunding: Minneapolis' city council passed a resolution on Friday to replace its police department with a community-centric model.
- School contracts axed: Minneapolis, Denver and Portland have moved to end the presence of police officers in local schools. Officers have a presence in the 25 biggest school districts nationwide, per Chalkbeat.
- No-knock warrants ban: Louisville, Kentucky — where Breonna Taylor was killed by officers who raided her home with this type of warrant — has banned the practice.
- Police transparency changes: New York removed a shield clause that locked down records of officers who'd been investigated for excessive force.
- Go deeper: Axios' Orion Rummler catalogued quite a few more changes.
Between the lines: It is ridiculously hard to fire police officers in the U.S., let alone getting criminal charges to stick.
- Chalk that up to unions, or qualified immunity, or weakness from elected officials — but it's a major roadblock to change.
- The Minneapolis Police Department said Wednesday that it is withdrawing from negotiations with its police union. The real effect of that is to be determined.
The bottom line: This is a start, but it doesn't even come close to the level of change organizers have publicly demanded. Expect the protests to be here for a long time to come.