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Several Effects of the BLM Protests

Updated: Mar 19



Photo Credit: Brandon, Alex. In 2020, the Black Lives Matter movement shook the world.

A movement that gained momentum in late May of 2020, the Black Lives Matter movement, or BLM for short, is a topic most people have heard of. While several pieces of false information about the motives of BLM have been spread, the organization has its own meaning for its cause. Coming from the Black Lives Matter official website, their “mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.” Activists came together to call for changes they felt were justified. Along with many others, causes that several of the protests had addressed included holding officers accountable for killing, raising awareness about racial injustice, racism being recognized as a public health crisis, and calling for the defunding of the police. The New York Times has stated that since May 26, there have been over 4,700 demonstrations throughout the United States. But after hearing about and seeing these protests on the news so often this past year, many will wonder what the actual outcome of them was.

In Louisville, Kentucky, Breonna’s Law has been passed. The purpose of this law is to ban the use of warrants without first knocking, also known as “no knock” warrants. The law also includes that police officers are required to turn on their body cams five minutes before and after searches and are subject to punishment if not done. This can be traced back to March 13, 2020, when an emergency medical technician named Breonna Taylor who had been asleep was killed in the middle of the night by police. Three officers had used a battering ram to force their way into her apartment. After her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker mistook them for robbers and shot once, hitting one in the thigh. In response, the officers began firing. Taylor was shot at least eight times and did not receive medical attention for over twenty minutes afterward. While it had initially been supposed to be a drug bust, no drugs were found in her apartment.

Next are the removal and defacement of several memorials of Confederate soldiers and generals. These were targeted because the figures, many of whom were slave owners and were racist, were being promoted as heroes. One of these statues was that of Maj. Gen. Philip Schuyler, who had allegedly been the largest slave owners in Albany. Mayor Kathy Sheehan signed an executive order to have this statue taken down. Another was the statue of a Confederate officer, John Breckenridge Castleman. And also, in Sacramento, it was announced by state lawmakers that statues of Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabella would be removed from the Capitol Rotunda. The removal of these statues symbolized our acceptance that many important people in American history were not good, in that they had a lot of racist views, supported white supremacy, and some fought for the Confederacy.

There was also the ban of police chokehold in New York, Minneapolis, Denver, Dallas, Houston, and Washington, D.C., as well as California. A chokehold is a technique that restricts the victim’s airways and was seen in cases including Elijah McClain and George Floyd. As NPR.org mentioned, their review of neck restraint bans observed that it is ineffective. Although chokeholds have been a controversial topic for years, the death of Floyd pushed them to be banned officially in some states and cities.


- Ashley Lulkin (TeensForChange)


Sources:


Bikales, Rachel Scully and James. “A List of the Statues across the US Toppled, Vandalized or Officially Removed amid Protests.” TheHill, The Hill, 17 June 2020, thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/502492-list-statues-toppled-vandalized-removed-protests?rl=1.


Buchanan, Larry, et al. “Black Lives Matter May Be the Largest Movement in U.S. History.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 3 July 2020, www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/07/03/us/george-floyd-protests-crowd-size.html.


Evstatieva, Monika, and Tim Mak. “How Decades Of Bans On Police Chokeholds Have Fallen Short.” NPR, NPR, 16 June 2020, www.npr.org/2020/06/16/877527974/how-decades-of-bans-on-police-chokeholds-have-fallen-short.


Gupta, Alisha Haridasani, and Christine Hauser. “New Breonna Taylor Law Will Ban No-Knock Warrants in Louisville, Ky.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 12 June 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/06/12/us/breonna-taylor-law-passed.html?auth=login-google.


Lucero, Marissa. “Meaning behind the Movement: Black Lives Matter.” UNM Newsroom, The University of New Mexico, 26 June 2020, news.unm.edu/news/meaning-behind-the-movement-black-lives-matter.


Menjivar, Jackie. “Black Lives Matter Protests: What's Been Achieved So Far.” DoSomething.org, DoSomething, 13 Aug. 2020, www.dosomething.org/us/articles/black-lives-matter-protests-whats-been-achieved-so-far.


Sharma, Versha. “Analysis: How The Black Lives Matter Movement Became More Popular Than Ever.” NowThis News, NowThis, 19 June 2020, nowthisnews.com/news/analysis-how-the-black-lives-matter-movement-became-more-popular-than-ever.


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