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

All Black Lives Matter movement stories

"I was horrified": Leaders respond to footage of Black and Latino Army officer threatened at traffic stop

An Army officer is suing two Virginia police officers after he said they drew their guns and pepper-sprayed him during a traffic stop in December.

Why it matters: Footage of the incident has drawn widespread criticism from leaders and groups in the state. Caron Nazario, who is Black and Latino, is heard saying “I’m honestly afraid to get out," to which a police officer responds “Yeah, you should be," in a video from a body-worn camera.

Chauvin trial leaves cities, activists across America on edge

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The impact of the Derek Chauvin trial is reverberating far beyond the walls of the downtown Minneapolis courtroom.

The state of play: With the trial set to enter its third week, activists across America are watching the proceedings unfold with heavy skepticism that what they perceive as justice will be served.

22 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Maryland lawmakers override Hogan vetoes of police accountability legislation

Marion Gray Hopkins with Coalition of Concerned Mothers speaks during a rally promoting police reform on March 4 in Annapolis, Maryland. Photo: Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Maryland's Democratic-controlled legislature on Saturday voted to override Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's vetoes of police accountability legislation.

Why it matters: Maryland is the first state to repeal its Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights, the Washington Post notes.

Medical examiner: Police restraint was "just more than Floyd could take"

The medical examiner who performed George Floyd's autopsy testified Friday that law enforcement's restraint and compression of Floyd's neck was "just more than [he] could take," given his heart's condition.

Why it matters: Andrew Baker, the Hennepin County medical examiner, is a key witness "for prosecutors who hope to convince jurors that Derek Chauvin killed Mr. Floyd when he knelt on him for more than nine minutes last May," the New York Times writes.

Kentucky governor signs bill limiting no-knock warrants

Tamika Palmer, Breonna Taylors mother,atches as Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signs a bill limiting no-knock warrants into law in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed a bill Friday that limits the use of no-knock warrants in the state.

Why it matters: The law comes more than a year after the police killing of Breonna Taylor in a botched raid. While the law doesn't go as far as protesters and some state lawmakers hoped, many said it represents a step in the right direction and "will save lives."

Forensic pathologist: George Floyd died from neck restraint

A veteran forensic pathologist testified Friday that the position of George Floyd's body appeared to show he could not get enough oxygen before he died, and that "there's no evidence to suggest that he would have died that night except for the interactions with law enforcement."

Why it matters: Her testimony confirms autopsies that show Floyd died from "asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain," after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd's neck for over nine minutes.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Apr 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

America is losing its religion

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New surveys show Americans' membership in communities of worship has declined sharply in recent years, with less than 50% of the country belonging to a church, synagogue or mosque.

Why it matters: The accelerating trend towards a more secular America represents a fundamental change in the national character, one that will have major ramifications for politics and even social cohesion.

Minneapolis use-of-force instructor: Officers not trained to use knee on neck

A use-of-force instructor at the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) testified Tuesday that officers have never been trained to use the type of knee-on-neck restraint that Derek Chauvin employed against George Floyd.

Driving the news: Johnny Mercil, a lieutenant who has worked in patrol and on the community response team, said that officers are trained to use the "least amount of force necessary" to subdue a suspect, and that a knee on the neck would not be authorized against a suspect who is "under control and handcuffed."

Minneapolis police chief: Chauvin "absolutely" violated department policies

Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo. Photo courtesy of NBC News.

Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo said Monday "sanctity of life is absolutely vital" when considering the use of force and that former police officer Derek Chauvin "absolutely" violated department policies in his use of force on George Floyd.

Why it matters: In the second week of Chauvin's trial, Arradondo described a departmental culture at odds with Chauvin's behavior when he kneeled on Floyd's neck for over nine minutes.

ER doctor: George Floyd's cause of death most likely oxygen deficiency

The Minneapolis doctor who attended to George Floyd testified Monday that it's more likely Floyd died of loss or deprivation of oxygen than of a heart attack or drug overdose.

Why it matters: Opening the second week of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial, the doctor's testimony challenges the defense's argument that Floyd suffered a heart attack related to the influence of drugs — and not as a result of Chauvin's use of force.

More Black Lives Matter movement stories