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One Year After George Floyd Death, a Mix of Views

'I think the verdict is still out on that,' says one observer of the prospects of real change
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2021 11:19 AM CDT

(Newser) – Tuesday is the one-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, and as part of the observances, members of Floyd's family will visit President Biden at the White House, reports CNN. Others are weighing in on the changes over the past year. A sampling of coverage and observations about the anniversary:

  • The death set off greater calls for police reform, writes Marty Johnson at the Hill, and while the case resulted in the conviction of former officer Derek Chauvin, such convictions remain an anomaly. So is the change for real? "I think the verdict is still out on that," says Amara Enyia, policy and research coordinator for the Movement for Black Lives "What we know for sure is that the appetite for substantive change is there." The analysis digs in.

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  • The Pioneer Press of Minneapolis speaks with people in the area where Floyd was killed about what the death has meant to them and how things might change. One is local entrepreneur Chiquandlyn Perkins: "I believe that anyone who joins the police academy should do a psychological test to see where their heart's really at," she says. "You don't pick and choose which one you're going to protect when it comes to color. It's protect and serve all."
  • In the Wall Street Journal, Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of The War on Cops, writes that "while police need to train relentlessly in de-escalation and sound tactics, they are not the problem in minority communities; criminals are." She adds: "As long as the police are demonized and scapegoated, law-abiding residents of high-crime neighborhoods will continue to live in fear and wonder why no one protests when their loved ones are murdered by gangs with guns."
  • Rudy Jean-Bart, interim associate dean of criminal justice at Broward College, writes in the Sun Sentinel that one year later, he still fears for his young son growing up in this society. "Black men are constantly bombarded by messages that our lives are not only seen as worthless, but also pre-scripted," he writes. "The expectation is that you will at some point become more threat than human. For so many, to be a Black man is a battle for survival. ... There is something gut wrenching about knowing that who you are makes you a suspect."
  • Yahoo News takes a comprehensive look at how laws have changed at the state and local levels in reaction to Floyd's death, as well as to the deaths of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. It's a wide range. Some locales cracked down on police with bans on chokeholds and by reducing their protection from prosecution, while other municipalities passed greater protection for officers, as well as anti-protest legislation.
(Read more George Floyd stories.)

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