Black Lives Matter movement

The big picture

The cities that are already defunding the police

City leaders are calling for budget cuts or reallocated funds in at least 19 U.S. cities.

Jun 27, 2020
American society is teetering on the edge

The coronavirus, rising social unrest, inequality and political polarization threaten the fabric of the U.S.

Jun 3, 2020
The slippery slope of protest surveillance

Even without a legal classification, calling dissenters "terrorists" could unleash an arsenal of spying.

Jun 3, 2020
The biggest crisis since 1968

This crisis has moments we’ve never seen before.

Jun 3, 2020
Black Americans' competing crises

Police brutality, COVID-19, and economic pain are hitting African Americans disproportionately and all at once.

May 31, 2020
America's unfinished business

Police violence and a host of other problems have all been caused by unresolved systemic abuses.

May 30, 2020

All Black Lives Matter movement stories

Investigation results in no charges against officer who shot Michael Brown

Michael Brown's casket during his funeral in 2014. Photo: Robert Cohen-Pool/Getty Images

A St. Louis prosecutor determined on Thursday that police officer Darren Wilson would face no charges after the 2014 fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Wilson was cleared by a grand jury and a federal investigation later in 2014, and Thursday's conclusion "likely marks the end of the legal saga in a case that started the global rise of the Black Lives Matter movement..." the Times writes.

Go deeper: Deaths without consequences

John Lewis urges young people "to let freedom ring" in posthumous op-ed

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis told young people to "let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide" while fighting to enact change in a posthumous New York Times op-ed written shortly before his death.

Why it matters: The piece, timed to be published on the day of his funeral, hits many of the themes Lewis espoused during his life — and says that the current generation "filled [him] with hope about the next chapter of the great American story" as protests against systemic racism took hold around the country in his last weeks.

Press freedom incidents have surged during police protests

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There have been over 546 total press freedom incidents in the U.S. in the past few months, with roughly 137 — over 25% — coming from law enforcement, according to new data from the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.

The state of play: Of the 125 physical attacks on the press during the recent protests, 77 have come from law enforcement.

Jul 28, 2020 - Podcasts

The second wave of protests

Thousands of people held protests in at least a dozen American cities this weekend, days after the Trump administration announced it would send more federal agents to Chicago and Albuquerque in an extension of Operation Legend. A month ago protests over the killing of George Floyd had begun to dwindle — now, they’re back.

Updated Jul 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The major police reforms enacted since George Floyd's death

Federal officers in Portland, Oregon on July 21. Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Nationwide Black Lives Matter protests sparked by George Floyd's killing have put new pressure on states and cities to scale back the force that officers can use on civilians.

Why it matters: Police reforms of this scale have not taken place since the inception of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, following George Zimmerman's acquittal for shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager.

National Guard officer challenges official account of Lafayette Square incident

Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Army National Guard commander Adam DeMarco will testify on Tuesday that Park Police's use of force in the clearing of Lafayette Square last month was an "unnecessary" and "unprovoked" escalation that he and his fellow National Guardsmen viewed as "deeply disturbing."

Why it matters: DeMarco's testimony, previewed in a written statement released by the House Natural Resources Committee on Monday, contradicts statements made by Attorney General Bill Barr and the Trump administration about the controversial clearing of protesters, which preceded President Trump's visit to St. John's Church for a photo op.

Exclusive: Bob Johnson lays out his solution for wealth inequality

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

After reading Axios' 10 myths about the racial wealth gap, BET co-founder and entrepreneur Robert L. Johnson is issuing a challenge to politicians, civic leaders and Black organizations across the country: Refute the findings or lay out a set of actionable solutions.

What he's saying: And if they can't, "they need to have the courage to stand up to Black people and say, 'You are perpetually a second-class economic population in America,'" Johnson said during an hourlong one-on-one interview Sunday.

ProPublica releases thousands of NYPD disciplinary records

Photo: Vusale Abbasova/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

ProPublica on Sunday released a searchable database consisting of thousands of New York Police Department disciplinary records that state law had shielded from public view for decades.

The state of play: State lawmakers voted to repeal the statute in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, but a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking the release of the records after unions for police officers, firefighters and corrections officers sued the city. ProPublica is not a party to the lawsuit and chose to move forward with releasing the records.

Underrepresented groups step into the 2020 spotlight

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus and Black Lives Matter protests have supercharged a diverse, intersectional civil rights movement.

The big picture: 2020 is provoking a cultural awakening — a unique moment in American history that Black Americans, immigrants, Latinos, women, people with disabilities and advocates for LGBTQ rights are all hoping to seize.

Federal agents arrested 18 during Portland protests this week

Federal police in Portland on July 23. Photo: John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Federal police arrested 18 people in Portland, Oregon, this week during protests at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse, U.S. Attorney Billy Williams announced Friday.

Why it matters: President Trump sent U.S. officers to Portland earlier this month in response to protests that followed the death of George Floyd in May. Officials have denounced the administration's use of federal agents to pull protesters into unmarked vehicles.

More Black Lives Matter movement stories