George Floyd a year on: A new awareness but no change on America's streets

America is still waiting for change a year after George Floyd's death. Credit: AP

A year ago, on a street corner in Minneapolis, George Floyd was murdered. Murdered by a man in uniform and with a badge, watched by a small group of on-lookers who were witnessing in horror a modern-day lynching.

What no one understood on the evening of May 25, 2020, was that this act of police brutality would resonate across America - and far beyond.

The death of George Floyd was a call to arms for racial justice, police accountability and equal treatment. It has succeeded, to a remarkable extent, in reshaping the global conversation about race.

But has it changed policing in the US? Are young black Americans any safer today than they were a year ago?

Many want to do more than remember George Floyd - they want to see change in America's police departments. Credit: AP

1,000 Americans are killed every year by police. That statistic remains unchanged.

So too is the feeling among minority communities that they face discrimination at every stage of their interactions with the criminal justice system.

And something else hasn't changed over the past year - the inaction in Congress on major police reforms.

President Biden promised that by the first anniversary of the murder of George Floyd he would sign into law an Act that would improve police training, ban chokeholds, and create a nationwide database to track rogue cops.

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But the US Senate has yet to approve these reforms. That is the source of extreme frustration for the mothers of the young men killed by police officers.

Katie Wright, the mother of Daunte Wright, says the delay in passing federal legislation is costing lives.

Her son Daunte was shot dead last month here in Minnesota by a police officer who appears to have accidentally used her pistol, not her Taser.

'Who's to say there's not going to be another Daunte?': Katie Wright says politicians have taken 'baby steps' to enact change

Minneapolis is still hurting, a year on. It is a city that is trying to lead the way in the reforming of police departments but it has a long way to go. The level of distrust between officers and minority communities here is immense, as it is in almost every city in America.

Jamal Osman is a young Somali-born American who serves on the Minneapolis City Council. He has pleaded for the police to embrace reform. In too many instances, he says, officers are simply over-reacting to someone having a mental health crisis.

At 1pm today, the people of Minneapolis will pause for nine minutes and 29 seconds to remember George Floyd. That was the length of time that Officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on Mr Floyd's neck.

For many in America's minority communities, remembering George Floyd is important. But far more important would be a radical change in the behaviour and conduct of the country's 18,000 police departments.

As part of our series George Floyd’s Death And The Lives It Changed, ITV News has been touching base with those who came into prominence for their actions and activism following his killing. Read the latest here: