Posted on May 26, 2023

Here’s What’s Changed Since George Floyd’s Murder Three Years Ago

Cheyanne M. Daniels, The Hill, May 25, 2023

Three years after George Floyd was murdered by police in Minneapolis at the age of 46, Black Americans are still more than twice as likely to be killed by police as white Americans.

Much has changed since Floyd’s killing, but that startling statistic from the database Mapping Police Violence underscores how much hasn’t changed all the same.


Here’s a look at what has happened in the past three years.

Police accountability

Perhaps the biggest shift since Floyd’s death has come in efforts to hold police more accountable when people are killed in their custody or as a result of their actions.


Defunding and reforming police departments

More than 30 states have passed 140 oversight and reform laws on local police since Floyd’s killing, according to the New York Times.

Some of these laws restricted tactics such as no-knock warrants, which led to the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville — another touchstone event from 2020. Others ban the use of neck restraints — like what Chauvin used against Floyd — and mandated the use of body cameras.

Calls to “defund the police” also echoed around the country in summer 2020. In many cases, those calls were to redirect funds for police to other services. Some cities have taken steps to do this.

The slogan of “defund the police” has led to a backlash for some Democratic politicians as crime rose after the pandemic.


{snip} Thirty-five percent of Americans want to reduce the budget of police departments to fund social programs instead, the Gallup poll found.

Minneapolis voted to shift nearly $8 million from police funding to services like violence prevention and mental health crisis response teams.

In June 2020, Boston reallocated $12 million of its police overtime budget — about 20 percent — to instead invest in community programs such as trauma and counseling services.


Restitution and reparations

Some states are taking steps to reconcile with residents following the years of protests.

At least 19 cities will reportedly pay protesters who sustained injuries as a result of law enforcement action as they protested police brutality, according to The Guardian. 

The California Reparations Task Force this month voted on a series of proposals for reparations for Black Americans, and one of the areas for restitution includes mass incarceration of Black Americans and over-policing in Black communities.


George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Federal efforts on police reform have stalled.

In 2021, a House then controlled by Democrats approved the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. But the legislation went nowhere in the Senate and appears to be on hold with a GOP majority House.

The key area of disagreement is over ending qualified immunity, a set of rules that protects government officials — including police officers — from individual liability for violating personal and constitutional rights.