Political Issue of the Issue: Black Lives Matter and other protests surge over police brutality. Here’s a timeline.

As the nation continues to split over the current issue of police brutality, tensions increase. Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a political and social movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against black people through protests. Here is a timeline of the how this issue has progressed in the recent months: 

  • February 23: Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed 25-year-old black man was fatally shot while on a jog in Glynn County, Georgia. Arbery was being followed and confronted by two white residents, a father and son.
  • March 13: Louisville police officers knocked down the apartment door of 26-year-old black women Breonna Taylor, serving a no-knock search warrant for drug suspicions. Police fired several shots which led to her death. 
  • May 25: George Floyd is killed by Minneapolis Police. A video surfaced showing the officer on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd pleaded for his life, repeating the phrase “I can’t breathe.”
  • May 26: Protests begin, demanding that the four officers involved in George Floyd’s death receive proper punishment. The four officers involved are then fired. 
  • May 27: Protests spread across the U.S. Looting and fires are seen in Minneapolis and other big cities.
  • May 28: The National Guard is deployed to Minneapolis and a state of emergency is declared by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey
  • May 28: International protests begin: Countries outside the U.S. begin protesting, including Liberia and Nigeria with others joining in the days to follow.

  • June 1: President Trump talks about deploying the military to protests. 

“If a city or a state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” said President Trump.

  • June 2: Protesters of Black Lives Matter and Racial Unity gathered at The Oval for the independently organized march that finished at City Hall along Howes Street.

  • June 3: Three former officers charged for the murder of George Floyd. Senate Bill 217 introduced concerning measures to enhance law enforcement integrity.
  • June 4: Demands to “defund the police”  gain traction nationwide. Hundreds gather in Minneapolis for the first of several planned memorial services for Floyd.
  • June 5: Vigils held in several major cities for what would have been Breonna Taylor’s 27th birthday.
  • June 7: Minneapolis City Council members announce a commitment to disband Minneapolis Police Department.
  • June 8: Thousands line up to pay respects to Floyd at a memorial service in Houston, Texas, where Floyd grew up. Democrats propose new legislation for police reform but stop short of defunding as protesters call for.
  • June 11: “Breonna’s Law” is passed in Louisville. No-knock warrants can no longer be served unless there is an “imminent threat of harm or death” and is limited to “offenses including murder, hostage-taking, kidnapping, terrorism, human trafficking and sexual trafficking,” per the Louisville Courier-Journal.
  • June 12: Rayshard Brooks is shot and killed by a police officer in Atlanta. Officers were responding to a call of a man who fell asleep in a Wendy’s drive-thru. An altercation broke out after Brooks failed a sobriety test and two officers attempted to arrest him. Brooks took one officer’s taser and was running away when he was shot in the back twice.
  • June 15: New York City Police Department (NYPD) announces they are disbanding their plainclothes, ‘anti-crime’ units. According to officials, this sector was involved in too many questionable fatal shootings and civilian complaints. The officers will be reassigned to other units
  • June 19: Juneteenth brings even more attention to the Black Lives Matter movement. Thousands marched in and around Portland to call for an end to systemic racism and commemorate Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day. Marchers filled streets in Portland’s core and suburbs and shut down the Interstate Bridge to traffic from Washington for an hour. Their message: “Black lives matter.”
  • August 7: 22-year-old black man Salaythis Melvin was shot in the back and killed by a deputy in the Florida Mall parking lot in Orange County, Florida.
  • August 23: 29-year-old African American Jacob S. Blake was shot and seriously injured by police officer Rusten Sheskey in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
  • August 26: The National Basketball Association (NBA) staged an unprecedented boycott on Wednesday, August 26 over the police shooting of a black man, forcing the NBA to halt its playoff schedule and prompting a wave of walkouts by teams and players across other sports.
  • September 12: In Compton, two deputies from Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) were ambushed and shot in the head by an unidentified black man. Both were hospitalized and were in critical condition at St. Francis Medical Center. 
  • September 13: Protesters gathered around the Walt Disney World campus, close to the public entrance. The demonstrators wanted LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and other NBA stars to see them as they held signs and shouted messages with the help of megaphones. Many of the protesters focused on the fatal shooting of Salaythis Melvin, who was shot just 15 miles from the Bubble.
  • September 13: An anti-police protest unfolded outside the hospital where both deputies who were ambushed were taken for treatment. Deputies responded to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, CA on Saturday evening where protesters converged outside of the emergency room with some yelling, “We hope they die.”
  • September 15: Officials in Louisville, Kentucky have agreed to pay $12 million to the family of Breonna Taylor.