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Black Lives Matter Banner_John Minchillo AP

AP Photo/John Minchillo

Making Black Lives Matter

Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza are the originators of #BlackLivesMatter.

An excerpt — The tragic killing of an unarmed African American teenager, Michael Brown, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri gave a new energy and national platform to the issue of police brutality and excessive force in the Black community. Indeed, in the months surrounding Mike Brown’s killing, there was a wave of killings of unarmed Black men, boys and women by white police officers across the country including Ezell Ford in Los Angeles; John Crawford, Tamir Rice and Tanisha Anderson in Ohio; and Eric Garner and Akai Gurley in NY. To date, only one of the police officers involved in these shootings has been indicted. This is not a new phenomenon, as black men, boys and women have been killed by law enforcement under suspicious or seemingly criminal circumstances for generations without prosecution or conviction. The recent release of the movie Selma is a timely reminder of the history of excessive force by police against the Black community and also the legacy of brutality, repression, disenfranchisement and unequal treatment of Black people codified into the law and institutional practice of this country. Read Full Report