Black Lives Matter: Eliminating Racial Inequity In The Criminal Justice System

In Florida of July 2013, a man by the name of George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of an unarmed African-American teenager, Trayvon Martin; which began the activist movement, Black Lives Matter, later beginning the hashtag (#BlackLivesMatter). Following Martin’s death, Black Lives Matter became more widely known and popularized after in 2014 when there were two high-profile deaths of other unarmed African-American men, Eric Garner (Staten Island, NY) and Michael Brown (Ferguson, MO). The police officers in those deaths were not indicted. After the two deaths in 2014, there were ongoing local and national protest and other actions that have brought light to the public conversation and consciousness of the Black Lives Matter movement. The Black Lives Matter hashtag originated on social media; which has then evolved into a movement making more than 1000 Black Lives Matter demonstrations as of August 2015 has been worldwide.

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The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) did an article to reach out to the audience to give an update on the killing of Michael Brown. Many have tried to follow the cases on all the high-profile deaths of the unarmed men and the ADL did just that by giving the article of an update on Michael Brown; discussing the findings that the US Department of Justice found on March 4, 2016, announcing the findings in the two separate investigations related to Brown. On part of the Ferguson Police Department, there were a pattern of civil rights violations; the second report found evidence that determined the evidence examined in the federal investigation in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown also didn’t support civil rights federal charges against the Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. On March 17, two weeks later the city of Ferguson and the Police Department made a formal announcement on agreeing on “aiming to remedy the unconstitutional law enforcement conduct that the Justice Department found during its civil pattern-or-practice investigation”. After the announcement it resolved in a pending federal lawsuit against Ferguson; it addressed many different issues ranging from and including the bias-free court and police practices, that protect all individuals First Amendment rights, and reorienting Fergusons use of force policies.

Following the article that ADL completed for the audience; Keeanga Taylor did an article reaching out to their audience to discuss whether or not; five years later, Do Black Lives Matter. Since all the killings of unarmed African American men by officers; many wonder what has the movement Black Lives Matter accomplished and what work has been left unfinished. Five years since Michael Brown’s murder in Ferguson, Missouri still just doesn’t seem the same. Since then its seems as much more as occurred; such as police across the United States have been in the media for killing more than four thousand people; with a quarter of them being African American. The question Taylor wanted to answer for her audience was “Five years later, do Black Lives Matter?”.

In studying Taylor article, she definitely answered the question for her audience in discussing the emergence of Black Lives Matter. During President Obama second term, what began as the local movement in Ferguson; the grand jury failure to indict the officer in which was known to have killed Mike Brown was later followed by the grand jury failing to indict Daniel Pantaleo, a New York cop who was seen on video choking and killing another unarmed Afrivan American man, Eric Garner of Staten Island.

The Anti-Defamation League and Taylor both brought to light to the audience that the Black Lives Matter movement came up with a movement called Campaign Zero that was launched for a group to lobby changes to federal and state laws and policies. Campaign Zero group believed in ending police violence, limiting interventions and improving community interactions and accountability. Although both Anti-Defamation League and Taylor spoke on Black Lives Matter, Tedeneke did an article to discuss to the audience “Don’t other lives matter too?”; because many wondered did the movement mean ‘black lives only mattered’; but Tedeneke let it be known that All Lives Matter and Black Lives Matter movement was a group to support every human life and not just black people was deserving of equal consideration.

After reading and exploring both articles from Anti-Defamation League, Taylor and Tedeneke; I have concluded that all the articles were effective and appealled logic to their audience. Both articles explained to their audience that the movement of Black Lives Matter has always been more of a human rights movement rather than just a civils right movement. The focus that Black Lives Matters had was less about the changing of specific laws rather it was focused more on the fighting for altering fundamentals of society where Black Lives are free from orderly dehumanization. Black Lives Matter has influence many and how they look and speak on police violence. As far as the Black Lives Matter movement influencing many; the media still focuses on the protests and events that have been taken place and what the movement involvement has been regarding campaigning to make a legislation changes.

07 September 2020

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