Police Violence and the Black Lives Matter Movement

During recent years, there has been increasing cases of police violence against black people in the USA. Being shot by the police is now a leading cause of death for young black men in America, according to an article published in the Los Angeles Times in August 2019. The article, which is based on research by the US National Academy of Sciences, puts police shootings up beside car accidents, drugs, cancer and heart attacks as main causes of death for black men.

Police shootings of black men is a current issue for the political campaign for African American voters in the 2020 US elections. Yet most campaigners are silent on the issue. The Evidence In 2019, black people made up 13% of the population of the USA although they were 31% of police victims.

In addition, there were 205 police shooting incidents involving black male victims which was an increase of about 10% versus the year before. Moreover, the data shows that black men are three times more likely to be killed by police than white men.

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In 21% of police shootings the black victim was unarmed. This means that if current trends continue, about 1 in 1,000 black men or boys in the USA will die at the hands of police. A History of Incidents There have been various highly publicised cases of shootings of young black males in recent years that have caused a public reaction. In February 2012, 17 year old African American, Trayvon Martin, was shot by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Martin was unarmed and on his way back from a store where he had just bought an iced tea and a bag of Skittles.

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Michael Brown, who was 18 years old, was shot dead by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, in Ferguson, Missouri in Aug 2014. Brown was unarmed. In October 2014, 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was fatally shot by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke. There have been more fatal shooting incidents in recent years, making this a growing issue for African American citizens.

In response to this growing police violence against black Americans, a new civil rights movement called Black Lives Matter was started in 2013 by members of the African American community. From their website “Black Lives Matter began as a call to action in response to state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism.” It has now grown into an international activist movement that campaigns against violence and racism towards black people.

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Police Violence and the Black Lives Matter Movement. (2022, Sep 20). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/police-violence-and-the-black-lives-matter-movement-essay

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