January 13, 2021—The year 2020 will be remembered as an incredibly difficult and challenging year for many for good reason. With the death of George Floyd and on the heels of other controversial deadly force incidents, we witnessed a spring and summer of unrest with a serendipitous outcome—people across all backgrounds came together to declare that Black lives matter. Furthermore, in a number of these events, we saw law enforcement officers and leaders marching in solidarity.
As unrest and deadly force incidents continued, including the June 2020 shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, calls for police reform and defunding emerged. Key demands included less force and violence, decreased militarization and enforcement, the elimination of racism, increased relationship building and trust, and a fair, and just unbiased response when and where needed. Local and state governments took steps to reduce police presence and restricted the types of force that were used, including the prohibition of certain tactics, such as tear gas and other less lethal tools. The failure to use such tools is legitimately being questioned today.
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