The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of police brutality, protests and marches across the US forced some major changes in how governments function in many states across America.
Reasons Why the BLM Movement Was a Success
The changes brought about by the BLM movement not just cover the way companies manage diversity or the way racism is treated in society, but it has also led to changes in policies, legislature, policing systems, and more.
Here are some ways the movement has affected police work, administrative operations, and legislation.
The murderer of George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, was charged with second-degree murder (previously third-degree murder) while the three officers present during Floyd’s arrest and subsequent death have been charged with aiding and abetting to second-degree murder.
Many other police officers who have been involved in police brutality have been held accountable. For example, the police officer who shot to death 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in Louisville has been fired along with other officers involved in the murder. Numerous other officers have either been charged, fired, or forced to resign.
2. Disbanding Police Departments
Following the protests, the Minneapolis lawmakers have agreed to disband and dissolve the current police department. The state government declared that the police force is inadequate and unfit to ensure law and order and failed to keep the citizens safe.
The state of Minneapolis plans to make a fresh start and create a police system that can keep the communities safe. On top of that, the legislators have decided to revise and improve the training of cops, with a special emphasis on ending police brutality and enabling more transparency.
3. Defunding the Police
Keeping in line with the Black Lives Matter mission statement, some cities have made successful efforts to defund the police departments. The Mayor of New York, for example, has promised reforms to move funds from the police departments to the youth and social services departments.
4. Police Reforms
Lawmakers have promised reforms to the way the police works. The US House of Representatives has passed a bill aiming to undo the confidentiality, protection, and immunities that police officers previously enjoyed.
Moreover, other police reforms include banning chokeholds, making brutal police practices illegal, and strengthening the pre-conditions for the deployment of deadly force. The current police practices have been deemed unethical and irresponsible. The tighter control on the police will ensure compliance with the new safeguards in the laws.
The law governing police operations has enforced the use of body-cams and dash-board cameras on all federal officers, thus protecting the rights of the people they are meant to serve.
Further policy reforms that enable transparency in the police departments include the bill to remove the use of unannounced and unwarranted break-in police raids, many of which have resulted in deaths of innocent civilians.
The Black Lives Matter movement has succeeded in making the changes that the founders had envisioned. Newly proposed policing reforms are in the pipeline, focusing on making the police department serve the people instead of shooting them down without proper justification. Police brutality against black people has been effectively targeted, and the new police reforms aim to eradicate it entirely.