black lives matter | KUNR

black lives matter

A collage of four photos. Each photo is a screenshot from Zoom and includes a young woman looking toward the camera.
Nick Stewart / KUNR Youth Media

A student-led group has been advocating for more inclusive classroom environments in Washoe County. KUNR Youth Media reporter Nick Stewart talked to student organizers to learn more.

A compilation of six photos from 2020 and 2021, which includes health care professionals at a COVID-19 testing site, demonstrators for protests or political rallies, Renown Health's COVID-19 care site, vaccine administrators and a food bank volunteer.
(Top row, left) Lucia Starbuck / This Is Reno; (remaining photos) Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

Lucia Starbuck has covered the COVID-19 pandemic for over a year for KUNR Public Radio with Report for America, This Is Reno and Our Town Reno. In this photo gallery, she shares her photos from the field.

Three people in the front have their backs to the camera and are facing a crowd of people. Everyone has their fists in the air.
TY O'NEIL / This Is Reno

Black Lives Matter supporters demonstrated in Carson City over the weekend in solidarity with Jacob Blake, a Black man who is now paralyzed after being shot several times by law enforcement in Kenosha, Wisconsin. As the demonstration ended, a protester was struck by a car, and there was a separate incident of accidental gunfire.

Four people walking in the front. There is a man on a horse to their left and a man with an American flag with a blue stripe, to their right, staring at them.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

Over the weekend, roughly 50 Black Lives Matter protesters in Douglas County were met with hostility from several hundred counter-protesters who showed up in support of law enforcement.

As a warning, this story contains obscene and offensive language.

A sign on the ground that says, "Ban Chokeholds," covered in spotted shade from a tree.
Ty C. O’Neil / This Is Reno / Nevada News

Black Lives Matter protests have erupted across the country, and in Nevada, and with them, demands for police reform. In response, lawmakers in Nevada have approved a bill meant to change how law enforcement officers in the state handle arrests, but activists say there’s more to be done.

People lay face up on a road and hold posters that are shaped like tombstones. The poster in the front reads, "In Loving Memory of Miciah Lee 1/5/20."
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

Dozens of protestors gathered in front of the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office Friday to demand an investigation into an officer-involved shooting in Sparks earlier this year, which killed a young Black man.

A mother smiling at the camera next to her two young children, a boy and a girl.
Courtesy of Cari Croghan

Dorothy Croghan is an 82-year-old retired teacher, mother and Reno resident. She attended a recent peace vigil in Reno held by Black Lives Matter organizers protesting police brutality. In this audio postcard, she shares her memories growing up as a Black woman in the United States. Her story begins in North Carolina.

Editor's Note: This story contains racial slurs.

Police Chief speaking at Town Hall
Screenshot / Town of Truckee Council TV via YouTube

The Truckee Police Department announced Thursday that its chief, Rob Leftwich, will retire.

This comes after Leftwich faced public criticism after sending a controversial email to other Town of Truckee employees, in which shared his perspective on the Black Lives Matter movement. In it, he claimed George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man killed by police in Minneapolis, was "not innocent."

A boy holds a black lives matter poster.
Stephanie Serrano / KUNR Public Radio

Hundreds of people spent their Sunday evening participating in a peace vigil in downtown Reno. Black Lives Matter activists organized the event to allow people to speak, listen, and heal as the community continues to protest against police brutality. KUNR’s Stephanie Serrano was there and has this story.

As a note of disclosure, this story contains mentions of offensive racial slurs.

A man wearing a suit is speaking at a podium.
Nevada Attorney General's Office

Monday marks two weeks since 46-year-old George Floyd was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Former police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd was pronounced dead shortly afterward.

People holding a Black Lives Matter Banner.
Rajid Selim

Reno resident Rajid Selim decided to photograph the events that occurred in Reno last weekend: both the peaceful protest against police brutality and the rioting that followed. He shares his account of those events as well as previous experiences of racism he has endured. As a warning, this story contains offensive racial slurs as well as accounts of rioting and may not be suitable for all listeners and viewers.

A woman holding a sign at a protest against police brutality.
This Is Reno

Lela Gnuse is a local activist who is immunocompromised and, despite the pandemic, is leading the effort to organize events in Reno honoring black lives and protesting police brutality. KUNR’s Stephanie Serrano spoke to her about her experiences as a black woman and what to expect from a peace vigil organized for Sunday.

Law enforcement standing by on Virginia Street. Rioters running in different directions as tear gas fills the street.
Ty O'Neil / This Is Reno

As a warning, this story includes graphic images and videos containing violence that may be disturbing, along with inappropriate language.

Organizers of the Black Lives Matter protest on Saturday afternoon in Reno have denounced the violence that took place later that evening after the peaceful protest had ended. 

Lucia Starbuck was on the scene reporting for This Is Reno, and witnessed the events that unfolded at City Hall. She recounted what she saw with KUNR’s Anh Gray.

A man and a woman are writing on a poster that is hanging on a boarded window.
Paul Boger / KUNR Public Radio

Reno is on the mend after a riot occurred on Saturday night, causing damage to public and private property in the heart of the Biggest Little City. To get the latest on what happened, we turn to KUNR's Paul Boger to learn what residents, business owners and city officials are doing to assess the damage and to begin clean up.

People disperse after law enforcement fire tear gas onto a bridge.
Paul Boger

Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve has declared a state of emergency after a march against police brutality turned violent Saturday. KUNR’s Paul Boger was in the midst of it all and he has this report.

As a warning, some of the content in this story may be considered disturbing and unsuitable for some listeners.

Marcus Lavergne/Reno Public Radio

Protestors at a Black Lives Matter march that took place Friday evening filled downtown Reno's public pavilion in a show of solidarity. The steel-lettered, iconic Believe statue standing in the background became the perfect centerpiece as an electrified crowd surrounded it. As speakers delivered powerful speeches and the group chanted in unison, passersby couldn't help but turn their heads to take a look at the spectacle. 

Marcus Lavergne

Protestors took to the streets of Reno on Friday to express frustration, sadness and disbelief over recent police shootings that have shocked the country. Local activists hope the Black Lives Matter march is just the beginning of a conversation on issues of race and policing in the community.

Holding hand-painted signs and large banners, protestors peacefully marched down Virginia Street from the Reno Arch to City Hall chanting, clapping and filming with their smartphones. 


Supporters of the nationwide Black Lives Matter movement are preparing a large march at the Reno Arch on Friday night. More than 550 people have RSVP'd on Facebook.

The protest is being organized by two high school students with some assistance by local groups like the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Northern Nevada. 

Reno Police Chief Jason Soto says they will provide 30 to 50 additional officers to work the march.

Alexa Ard

Last week's officer-involved shootings of two black men, Louisiana resident Alton Sterling and Minnesota resident Philando Castile, as well as the shooting deaths of five Dallas officers have sparked national safety concerns.

Unitarian Universalist Association

  The pastor of a Reno church says he will continue to display the racial justice banner “Black Lives Matter” despite repeated acts of vandalism. Reno Public Radio’s Julia Ritchey reports.

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship first put up its banner in August, spurred by the national dialogue and media coverage of high-profile police shootings of African-Americans.

A day later, the sign had been spray painted over to read “White Lives Matter,” and that was only the first incident.