Black Lives Matter: Recapping the causes for protest

With protests occurring all over the country, the Black Lives Matter movement gives MacArthur students something to think about as the school year begins.

In recent months, the Black Lives Matter movement has protested regularly in response to actions from various law-enforcement and government organizations in America.  In 2020, renewed large protests began following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

On May 26, 2020, Floyd was accused of purchasing cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill by the employee of a market.  Police were called because of this accusation. Within minutes, the arriving police officers had Floyd pinned to the ground. On video, he was heard saying he could not breathe, but the officers did not relent and Floyd subsequently died. 

The responding officers included Derek Chauvin,Thomas Lane J., Alexander Kueng, and Tao Thao.  All were charged with second degree murder following Floyd’s death. Thomas Lane J., Alexander Kueng, and Tao Thao were released on bail.  Chauvin, who is facing the most serious of charges, has not been released.  

The important nature of the story and the entire Black Lives Matter movement has affected MacArthur students.  Seventh-grader Ashley Blancarte said, “In my opinion, the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were very wrong and they didn’t deserve the brutal deaths. It’s very sad and frustrating to see cops kill George Floyd because he mentioned he could not breathe many times. Breonnas Taylor’s death was also very sad because, as a medical worker, she personally helped many lives. What’s also sad is that her killers aren’t in jail and George Floyd’s were let go.”

Another tragedy that has caused more social action as part of the Black Lives Matter was the death of 26-year old Breonna Taylor. 

Breonna Taylor was with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, the night of her death.  It was March 13 2020, a little past midnight, when police officers executed a no-knock warrant into her home in Louisville, Kentucky. The officers got a warrant to enter her home because they have claimed to see her ex boyfriend to drop off packages of drugs there.  Unfortunately, they were at the wrong home: the actual house was miles away. 

When the police broke the door hinges and entered the home Walker thought it was the ex boyfriend trying to break in, so he shot his gun but hit officer Jonathon Mattingly.  As a response, the other police officers returned fire and shot Taylor five times. 

Walker said she had a hard time breathing and kept coughing up blood. When the ambulance got to the scene, it is reported that the responders helped the officers first but not Taylor. 

No drugs were found at the scene.  There has been a national push to end no-knock warrants with the Taylor case being an example of how breaking into a house unannounced can go wrong. 

Eighth-grader Anthony Flores said, “Very unusual and not mature of the police officers.  They should’ve just had arrested them and done a hearing at court and done it professionally.”