How long will America protest the death of George Floyd? History has some clues
Jun 06, 2020 1 min, 45 secs

Justin Hansford was there when Black Lives Matter went from a hashtag to an international movement.

He was one of thousands who flocked to the town of Ferguson, Missouri in the sweltering August of 2014 to voice outrage over a white police officer's fatal killing of an unarmed black man named Michael Brown.

Mr Brown's death was not the first time the idea that "black lives matter" surfaced, but the 10 days of Ferguson's rioting gave that phrase the attention it needed to become a rallying cry.

"There's probably just as much protesting around President Trump as there is around police brutality.

Tehran Crews, a Black Lives Matter organiser in Minneapolis, said his community was staging protests even days before George Floyd died.

In short, the protests haven't stopped because police killings haven't stopped.

"We had one year of progress on police violence before the backlash kicked in.".

Historians say that one year of progress directly after Ferguson was still steps further than the US had ever gone before on police reform.

Morgan Smith, who started the organisation BlackoutDC in 2015, said that she saw far more white allies at Washington DC's George Floyd protests than she had ever before.

Academics noted a change in tone with white police chiefs, who are condemning the officers behind George Floyd's death when they offered no judgments on past police killings.

The Black Lives Matter movement contains many voices.

Mr Hansford expects there to be some backlash to flattening the complex policy discussion into a phrase like "abolish the police," especially from a white America that still views police as their protectors

After all, even the term "Black Lives Matter" led to some backlash

White politicians declared again and again that "blue lives matter" or "all lives matter"

"I think the fear that some have about what black people do or say is based on a belief that black people aren't fully human," Mr Hansford said

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