The epidemic of brutality our communities face has not diminished. The police are still killing. It’s an ongoing war on Black lives.

By Cat Brooks, PRISM

On March 13, 2020, 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was asleep with her partner Kenneth Walker when they were startled awake by three white Louisville, Kentucky, police officers breaking down their door during a no-knock warrant raid. The medical technician was killed, and her home was never searched. No one has been held accountable.

The War On Black Lives Continues

Murdered just two months before former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd, sparking international uprisings, Taylor also kindled demands to end the unfettered state violence that is the daily reality of Black people’s lives in America.

But unlike Floyd, those responsible for Taylor’s death would never see a court or a jury, and certainly not a jail cell. The only police officer held to any standard of accountability, Brett Hankison, was only indicted for recklessly firing his weapon into the home of Taylor’s neighbor. He was acquitted earlier this month.

Neoliberals and the state seized on the conviction of Derek Chauvin as an opportunity to spin a narrative that America was marching toward post-racial bliss so protesters could stop marching in the streets, quit embarrassing the U.S. on the international stage, and go home. Even President Joe Biden said the Chauvin verdict could “be a moment of significant change.”

Slow down, Joe.

While it is true that more officers have been held accountable for their violence than in past years, the epidemic of brutality our communities face has not diminished. In 2020, police officers killed more than 1,100 people, and in 2021, they killed 1,055 people, and since the start of the year, police have killed 138 peopleOnly about 140 law enforcement officers have been arrested for on-duty shootings since 2005, and of those, only 44 were convicted, often on charges much less serious than murder.

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