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One Year After George Floyd's Death, Have We Made Any Progress?

Michael Falero
Protesters march in Charlotte in summer 2020 in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis.

One year ago, George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. His death set off a summer of heightened awareness of the epidemic of unarmed people of color being killed or hurt by police.

The issue has certainly gained attention, through many protests, the Black Lives Matter movement and a renewed focus on statues, monuments and names of institutions that honor white supremacists. And there was Chauvin's eventual murder conviction.

But the killings unarmed people of color by police did not stop with George Floyd. Around the country, the deaths continued. Just last month here in North Carolina, Andrew Brown Jr. was shot and killed by deputies.

Last week, Brown's death by police was ruled “justifiable” because a prosecutor said Brown's car was being used as a deadly weapon.

So, has the effort to stop the killings of unarmed Black people by police gained any ground in the year since Floyd’s death? Is something hampering change? Why are these deaths still happening?

We’ll talk about Floyd, Brown and others — as well ast police training, precedents in the law and much more.


Laura Pellicer, digital news reporter with WUNC. @lauraplive

Randy Shrewsberry, former police officer and the executive director of the Institute for Criminal Justice Training Reform

Carissa Byrne Hessick, professor of law at UNC School of Law. @CBHessick

Dr. Patrick Webb, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, St. Augustine's University

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Charlotte Talks Executive Producer Wendy Herkey has been with WFAE since 1998, beginning in the membership department, and has been on the Charlotte Talks staff since 1999.