police brutality

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.

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

With protesters taking to the streets nationwide to demand justice for George Floyd and confront police brutality and systemic racism, Mountain West News Bureau reporters are gathering perspectives of people of color from around the region.

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.

Sirens atop law enforcement vehicle
Aaron Anderer / Flickr Creative Commons

As thousands are demonstrating against a pattern of police brutality toward Black people in the U.S., Congress is working to find legislative solutions to reform law enforcement.

Catherine Cortez Masto is one of the Democratic senators from Nevada and the former state attorney general. She spoke with KUNR’s Bree Zender on Wednesday about what can be done on the federal level.

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.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday encouraging police departments to improve training — a step critics say falls short of what is needed to curb police officers' use of force against nonwhites.

The order comes as the president faces tremendous pressure to take action following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police last month.

An image of a humvee being used by police departments.
Estes Park Police Department

The ongoing protests over police brutality is highlighting another ongoing issue: the militarization of police departments.

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.

The Reno Police Department's use of force policy was updated on June 5 to include a warning before using deadly force is required when reasonable, and officers are required to intervene in excessive force situations.
Courtesy of the Reno Police Department

The Reno Police Department, or RPD, has announced some changes to its use of force policy in response to community input. The changes are in light of protests against police brutality, both locally and nationally, following the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis who was killed while in police custody after a white officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for several minutes, even after Floyd stopped moving and pleading for air.

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.