Black Lives Matter explained: The history of a movement

these were their last words


their names define a movement their

deaths a rallying cry for justice

the killing of george floyd has

protesters demanding change

led by black lives matter once again

it's time for us to stand up in george's


and say get your knee off our necks


the black lives matter group has been

fighting to be heard since

2013. and the phrase itself is now being

seen on streets

and screens all over the world but how

did the movement get here

how did it begin their message comes

from an urgent need to tackle police


and the statistics are stark police

killed more than a thousand people in

america in 2019.

black people are currently three times

more likely to be killed by police

and 99 of killings by a police officer

between 2013 to 2019 have not resulted

in criminal charges but the black lives

matter bubble

didn't actually start with police

brutality it began

after the death of trayvon martin at the

hands of an armed vigilante

it is the story that no one can stop

talking about the shooting of trayvon

martin on a february evening

in 2012 in sanford florida neighborhood

watch volunteer george zimmerman called

the police to report a suspicious person

this guy looks like he's up to no good

or he's on drugs or something

it's raining and he's just walking

around looking about

okay and this guy is he white black

he looks black he's told not to approach

the person in question

are you following him yeah okay we don't

need you to do that

zimmerman ignored the instructions and

started following 17 year old trayvon


moments later neighbors reported hearing


you just heard gunshots yes how many

this one zimmerman accepted he shot


claiming self-defense he wasn't


charged in fact it took 44 days for him

to be arrested

only after national media attention a

petition signed by more than a million


and a public response from the then

president you know if i had a son he'd

look like trayvon

we're going to get to the bottom of

exactly what happened a year later

zimmerman was found not guilty of all

charges by a jury of six women

five of them white the acquittal caused


and sparked the birth of a new kind of

civil rights movement

long before there was a black lives

matter movement it was a movement for

black lives matter it comes as a great

shock to discover that the country

which is your birthplace and to which

you owe

your life and your identity has not

in its whole system of reality about any

place for you blm from its beginning was

the continuation of a tradition

and a remix of a much longer black

freedom struggle but it has its roots

in the labor of black women after

zimmerman's acquittal activist alicia

garza posted on facebook

black people i love you i love us our

lives matter

black lives matter gaza's friend patrice

collier shared the final three words as

a hashtag

on the 7th of march 2013 black lives

matter was first seen

on twitter writer and immigrant rights

activist opal tometi

offered to build social media platforms

for it where activists could connect

with one another with this hashtag

new conversations were being created

online and ultimately

in our everyday lives black lives matter


our call to action it is a tool to

re-imagine a world where black people

are free to exist free to live it is a

tool for our allies to show up

differently for us

the movement gained popularity in the

summer of 2014

with eric garner's last words now a

rallying cry

i can't breathe caught on video the


went viral in july 2014 on a street in

new york staten island

43 year old garner was arrested on

suspicion of illegally selling

time out of that cigarettes he died in a

confrontation with officer daniel


after being placed in a chokehold he was

a father of six

pantaleo was fired five years later but

a state grand jury

still refused to press criminal charges

black lives

do not matter to this system when you

time and time again you're seeing us

being murdered and time and time again

you're seeing the police

go free just two months after eric

garner's death

another fatal shooting there is growing

outrage tonight after an unarmed

african-american teenager was shot and

killed by police in the st

louis suburb of ferguson missouri 18

year old michael brown allegedly stole a

pack of cigarillos from a corner store

police officer darren wilson shot brown

after suspecting him of being involved

in the robbery

police have shot this man for no reason

brown was due to start college two days

after he was killed

for weeks hundreds of people who'd never

taken part in organized protests before

took to the streets


more tear gas more rubber bullets anger

boiled over

ferguson's governor called in the

national guard black lives matter

was used on twitter over 50 000 times a


despite the anger surrounding the case

darren wilson wasn't prosecuted

he resigned from the force and said he

acted in self-defense

ferguson and michael brown jr

will be a defining moment

on how this country deals with

policing after ferguson the black lives

matter movement took root

and gained momentum as black people

continued to die at the hands of white


it was a cycle of killings protests and

no criminal charges no federal charges

no state

criminal charges this was all happening

with america's first black president

and attorney general at the helm i chose

to run for president

at this moment in history because i


deeply that we cannot solve the

challenges of our time

unless we solve them together racial

discrimination has been around since

the founding of this country to ask that

the first black president

is asking too much this is lawyer roy

austin he worked in the white house as

deputy assistant to president obama

in the office of urban affairs justice

and opportunity we took a ton of steps

under very difficult circumstances


there was this narrative that we were

anti-police for taking these steps

some of the steps taken under obama

included issuing consent decrees

these allow the courts to overhaul

police departments accused of civil

rights abuses

putting limits on the ability of local

police forces

to have military-grade weapons and more

pattern and

practice investigations into police


so where are they using excessive force


where are they engaging in

discriminatory policing

repeatedly activists at the time thought

the administration

should have been doing more to dismantle

systems in place that were protecting

the police qualified

immunity is a legal doctrine that

essentially shields police um

from from persecution uh or legal uh


police officers are protected by union

contracts which make it very difficult

for them to be fired

police officers have a all too cozy

relationship with district attorneys

all these ingredients taken together


a culture where police officers are

licensed to kill

and almost always get away with it

so even though black lives matter

representatives were invited to the

obama white house

they were also some of its harshest

critics so their idea was yes show up

yes be at the table but if you don't get

the kind of policy responses that you


then flip that team and then the table


totally in 2016. well you see them

marching and you see them on occasion at


i've seen it where they're essentially

calling death to the police

and that's not acceptable in the years

running up to the 2016 election

black lives matter faced a backlash some

started using the slogans or lives


white lives matter and blue lives matter

in response when you say black lives


that's inherently racist well i think

there are black lives matter white lives


asian lives matter hispanic lives matter

that's anti-american and it's racist

america's police and law enforcement


are what separates civilization from


chaos i am the law

and order candidate

donald trump's then election marks a new

era for america

and the world the summer after the


racial tensions inflamed again

last night's torchlight protest march by

the alt-right in charlottesville


has eerie echoes of the past violence

unfolded as white nationalists clash

with counter protesters

a car accelerated into the crowd killing

a woman

and leaving five others critically

injured president trump failed to

immediately call out

the white supremacists we condemn in the

strongest possible terms

this egregious display of hatred bigotry

and violence on many sides on many sides

the following year violent hate crime in

the states hit a

16-year high killings of black people at

the hands of white police

continued it just barely made the news

donald trump essentially sucked all the


and oxygen out of the media black lives

matter was no longer

you know the lead story many americans

were also enjoying the relative

calm of a booming economy african

americans had a record low unemployment

rate of 5.4 percent

in august 2019. that shows his support

for the black community when the

president says i understand

i hear you the president has people

around him that look

like me who get what's happening at the

beginning of 2020

u.s election year echoes of 2012

and 2013 hit the headlines again public


at the actions of vigilantes and a video

gone viral

we turn now to the case of ahmad arbree

the unarmed african-american man who was

shot and killed while out for a jog in

his georgia neighborhood i thought that

a mod story would open the eyes

of the other leaders i thought maybe it

would losing a mind

it would help by the 21st of may the men

involved in the killing had been

arrested and faced murder charges but in

less than a month after aubry's death

breona taylor

was fatally shot by police in her own


in louisville kentucky

no one was immediately arrested in june

the fbi reopened an investigation

briona taylor was an emergency room


yet her killing slipped largely under

the radar

as covid19 swept the us

disproportionately affecting communities

of color

i and many black americans are at higher

risk for covet coronavirus is killing

more african americans african americans

bear the brunt

of the economic downturn brought on by

the coronavirus in minneapolis minnesota

46 year old george floyd was victim to

these conditions

he lost his restaurant job and tested

positive for covert 19

suspecting floyd of using a forged 20


police officer derek chauvin held his

knee on his neck

for several minutes the world watched

and started speaking out


certainly with 40 million people


100 000 americans dead

um a white nationalist in office and

then a

televised public lynching those are

certainly the perfect conditions for the

emergence of

rebellion all four police officers

involved in floyd's killing were

arrested on murder charges

brought about by that video but also in

part by the strength of black lives

matter protests across america

and the world people of all backgrounds

genders and races have come together to


change honor them honor

george and make the necessary changes

that make law enforcement the solution

in the run-up to floyd's death president

trump's critics have pointed to his


of the steps obama took to tackle racist


those things we mentioned earlier

consent decrees limiting military-grade


expanding investigations into police

units accused of abuses

have all been overturned under president

trump some campaigners are arguing for

those measures to be reinstated

and enforcing policies like banning

chokeholds and better de-escalation

training but the black lives matter

movement is calling for a more radical


the group is demanding the money spent

on policing should instead be spent on

healthcare education and community

programs the institution of the police

is fundamentally corrupt

and many of us believe um is

unrepairable right it simply must

end in its current formation and that's

a deep cultural conversation

that takes a long time for us to figure

out he angry

at 46. i'm angry at 31. you angry at 16.

three generations of african-american

men stood together here

looking for solutions

a call to defund the police has been at

the center of the black lives matter

campaign since 2016

but now it has media attention countries

around the world are now working out

what black lives matter means to them

and campaigners hope that the year 2020

will be the last time they'll need to

have protests like this