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The maturing Black Lives Matter movement

Melvin B. Miller
The maturing Black Lives Matter movement
“Since half of those shot and killed by the cops last year were white, maybe whites ought to join our movement.” (Photo: Dan Drew)

The fatal shooting of black men by the police used to be considered a normal aspect of police work, but public attitudes changed last year when several outrageous incidents were videotaped for all to witness. The videos rebutted the police version of events.

Two significant responses to the continuing police violence occurred: African Americans formed Black Lives Matter political action groups, and the Washington Post established a team to investigate police shootings. Reporters developed a national database of 986 fatal police shootings in 2015.

With political sophistication, Black Lives Matter participated in the defeat at the polls of two district attorneys who were egregiously biased in favor of the police. Tim McGinty lost. He had refused to indict the police officer who killed Tamir Rice in Cleveland, a young boy with a fake pistol. And Anita Alvarez was defeated in Chicago. She had waited for 13 months to take official action against the officer who had shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

African Americans will have to develop new strategies to achieve equality. The Civil Rights Movement as it has been known historically is over. Perhaps Black Lives Matter might become a solid base for political progress.