Can Floyd protests break cycles of police brutality and racial unrest? History has lessons.

Just as the Emmett Till murder helped inspire protests in the civil rights era, which in turn led to the passage of civil rights and voting rights legislation, the protests over policing in 2020 already have sparked reforms and could lead to even more dramatic social changes. Policing and racial inequity often lie at the root of protests, past and present. The question is whether the predominant focus will be on riots and violence or on the underlying grievances that concern public policy.

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