Black Lives Matter movement

The big picture

The major police reforms enacted since George Floyd's death

These are the first large-scale reforms since the Black Lives Matter movement started in 2013.

Updated Oct 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy
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 - Politics & Policy
The slippery slope of protest surveillance

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

Jun 3, 2020 - Technology
The biggest crisis since 1968

This crisis has moments we’ve never seen before.

Jun 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy
Black Americans' competing crises

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

May 31, 2020 - Politics & Policy
America's unfinished business

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

May 30, 2020 - Economy & Business

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Trucker who drove into George Floyd protest may have charges dropped

Photo: Christopher Mark Juhn/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The truck driver who drove through a large crowd protesting George Floyd's death last year will have his criminal charges dropped if he is law-abiding for the next year, AP reports.

Catch up quick: Authorities had closed off the highway area as a precaution, but video footage showed Bogdan Vechirko honking and driving his tanker rig through the protest, which numbered in the hundreds.

Sheila Jackson Lee says Juneteenth holiday a "launching point" for studying reparations

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) at a bill enrollment signing ceremony for the Juneteenth National Independence Day . Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Juneteenth's establishment as a federal holiday should serve as a launching point for Congress to create a commission on reparations for African Americans, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said at an Axios event on Friday.

Why it matters: Jackson Lee, who has long worked to get a commission on reparations funded, believes now is the time to start "correcting the social ills" of society.

The Juneteenth milestone

President Biden points to Opal Lee, a 94-year-old Texan who campaigned for a Juneteenth holiday, after signing the bill yesterday. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

Two branches of government haven't acted in concert this speedily in at least 10 years.

Driving the news: The Senate passed a Juneteenth national holiday on Tuesday, the House followed Wednesday, President Biden signed it Thursday, and Friday is an official federal holiday (although the Postal Service will operate, saying there wasn't time to shut down).

Teen who filmed George Floyd’s murder wins honorary Pulitzer

Concrete pillars in front of a memorial for George Floyd on June 3. Photo: Nicholas Pfosi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Darnella Frazier, who was 17 years old when she recorded the viral video of Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd's neck, was awarded an honorary Pulitzer Prize Friday for documenting the painful and pivotal moment.

Why it matters: Frazier said that witnessing and filming the incident — which culminated in Chauvin's conviction in what advocates called one of the most important civil rights cases in decades — changed her. "I'm not who I used to be," she wrote in a tribute posted in May.

Watchdog: Police did not clear Lafayette Park last year for Trump photo-op

Former President Trump holds up a Bible in front of St. John's Episcopal Church after walking across Lafayette Park from the White House on June 1, 2020. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. Park Police (USPP) and assisting law enforcement did not clear peaceful protesters from outside the White House last year so then-President Trump could pose for a photo in front of a nearby church, according to a government watchdog report released Wednesday.

Why it matters: The move was planned several hours before USPP knew of Trump's visit, but widespread failure to coordinate across seven law enforcement agencies contributed to "confusion" and the unauthorized use of chemical irritants on Black Lives Matter protesters, the Interior Department's Office of Inspector General found.

2022's war over racism

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With or without Donald J. Trump atop the party, the Republican strategy for the 2022 elections and beyond virtually assures race — and racism — will be central to political debate for years to come. 

Why it matters: In an era when every topic seems to turn quickly to race, Republicans see this most divisive issue as either political necessity or an election-winner — including as it relates to voting laws, critical race theory, big-city crime, immigration and political correctness. 

May 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Three Tacoma officers charged in death of Manuel Ellis

People hold signs during a vigil for Manuel Ellis in Tacoma, Washington. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

The Washington state attorney general on Thursday charged two Tacoma police officers with murder and one with manslaughter in the death of Manuel Ellis, a Black man who died after repeatedly telling law enforcement he couldn't breathe while being restrained last year.

Why it matters: It's the first time the state's attorney general's office has filed criminal charges against officers for the unlawful use of deadly force.

Obama faced "constraints" as president to condemn killings of Black Americans

Former President Obama in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in October. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Barack Obama said Wednesday that "institutional constraints" stopped him from speaking out against the killings of Black Americans when he was in office.

Driving the news: The former president made the comments during the My Brother's Keeper Leadership Forum, which discussed activism since the May 2020, murder of George Floyd.

Darnella Frazier, who filmed video of George Floyd’s killing at age 17, speaks out

The George Floyd memorial site honoring the one-year anniversary of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis on May 25,. Photo: Christopher Mark Juhn/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Darnella Frazier, who was 17 years old when she recorded the viral video of Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd's neck, posted a tribute on Tuesday, decrying a country that looks at Black people as "thugs, animals, and criminals."

Why it matters: Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of Floyd's death, which triggered an avalanche of Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S. and around the globe and led to Chauvin's conviction on charges of murder and manslaughter.

George Floyd's family says Biden reaffirmed commitment to police reform

Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

George Floyd's family told reporters on Tuesday that President Biden assured them he was still committed to passing a police reform bill and "doing everything to make sure [Floyd's] legacy was respected."

Why it matters: The family's visit to the White House came on the one-year anniversary of Floyd's murder. Congress is expected to miss Biden's self-imposed May 25 deadline for passing police reform legislation, which has stalled in the Senate due to Republican opposition to certain provisions.

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