William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice


We find that the protests of 2020 did indeed begin a paradigm shift in the social awareness of racialized police violence, and this important and significant social change has in turn already inspired political change and some degree of legal and policy change. However, the movement remains in a precarious position and it is uncertain how enduring these changes will be. While many state legislators and local officials have responded to the protests with policy reforms, policy action at the federal level is mostly stalled. In addition, it is unclear whether the state and local policy changes will lead to the deeper and lasting structural changes sought by the movement. We are also observing substantial backlash policy that threatens to not only derail current racial justice efforts, but also exacerbate the underlying inequalities that the movement opposes.