News & Analysis of Economic, Racial, Gender Justice and More

FEATURING MARK-ANTHONY JOHNSON – Thousands of people marched on Friday evening in St. Paul, Minnesota after the acquittal of officer Jeronimo Yanez in the shooting death of Philando Castile. The not-guilty verdict was met with disbelief in a case many hoped was an open-and-shut case of unjustifiable police brutality.

Just two days later in Seattle another brutal police killing took place, this time of a pregnant Black woman named Charleena Lyles. The 30-year old Lyles was with her children when police fatally shot her, saying afterward that she had a knife. Lyles had called police for help to investigate a burglary. Her case is reminiscent of that of Korryn Gaines, a Black mother who was killed by police in her home less than a year ago in Baltimore County, Maryland.

Police killings are an age-old American story but heightened documentation and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement increased the expectations of Americans for the justice system to hold police accountable. While that did not work under President Obama, in the era of Donald Trump it appears even less likely that police will face any consequences for the continued killings of African Americans.

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Mark-Anthony Johnson, Director of health and wellness for Dignity and Power Now and a member of the Movement for Black Lives Policy Platform leadership team.

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