ABC13 hosts town hall on 'Black Lives Matter: Protests & Progress'

Friday, September 25, 2020
George Floyd's childhood friends join BLM town hall
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Four months after George Floyd's death, ABC13's Chauncy Glover and Melanie Lawson re-examined the movement against police brutality.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The facts are clear: Black men and women are still being killed by police at disproportionate rates, nearly four months after George Floyd's death in Minneapolis.

Statistics from Mapping Police Violence show at least 59 Black people were killed by police following Floyd's death through Aug. 31 of this year.

Eyewitness News anchors Melanie Lawson and Chauncy Glover gathered community leaders and Floyd's childhood friends in Houston for a town hall measuring the effectiveness of international demonstrations since his death, and the barriers to social justice that remain.

Panelists for the town hall included:

  • Chief Art Acevedo, Houston Police Department
  • Ashton P. Woods, Black Lives Matter Houston founder
  • Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, Houston City Council member
  • Herbert Mouton, friend of George Floyd and co-founder of 88 C.H.U.M.P.
  • Jonathan Veal, childhood friend of George Floyd

A Harvard University study released in June shows Black people are more than 3 times as likely to be killed during a police encounter than white people. Black people are also 1.3 times more likely to be killed while unarmed, compared to white people.

WATCH: Does BLM movement have bad rep? Houston BLM leader answers

Floyd's death sparked an international movement demanding accountability against the use of excessive force by police. Demonstrations swelled from Minneapolis to Memphis, Tenn., and Los Angeles, to Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Portland, Ore. Protests happened in more than 40% of U.S. counties, according to data by the Crowd Counting Consortium.

Between 15 million and 26 million people took to the streets this summer in the largest demonstrations in U.S. history. Millions of others joined protests globally, spanning from Canada, Europe, Oceania, Asia and Africa.

Floyd grew up in Houston's Third Ward and was a 1993 graduate of Jack Yates High School. Following memorial services on June 4 in Minneapolis, June 6 in North Carolina, and June 8-9 in Houston, he was buried next to his mother in Pearland, Texas.