Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors called for “transformational change” Monday, saying conversation isn’t enough after nationwide protests over police brutality and the in-custody death of George Floyd.
“Conversations aren’t enough,” Cullors said. “A conversation didn’t stop George Floyd from dying… And what we need is structural change, and that looks like a defunding of our local law enforcement, it looks like holding lots of cops accountable, and it looks like really seeing these protesters as people who have righteous rage who also want change.”
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore had earlier acknowledged the vast majority of protesters in L.A. participated peacefully, but called on organizers to take responsibility for those who broke off and started looting, setting fires and clashing with police.
The chief also invited Black Lives Matter founders to have a conversation.
But Cullors said the group has been having conversations with police chiefs and prosecutors, with no change coming about.
She described Moore’s invitation as a “cop out,” saying it’s at odds with how officers have responded to protesters in the streets.
“When you tell me that you want to meet with me and at the same time, I’m witnessing your law enforcement officers rubber bullet and tear gas our community members, that’s not actually wanting to meet with me,” she said. “That’s just putting a bandaid over decadeslong of pain.”
“Our protests have been completely amazing and beautiful, and the minute that the police come in, it’s been really dangerous,” Cullors said. “There’s been pepper spray, people have been tear gassed, people have been rubber buletted. And so we need to challenge this idea of what violence is looking like at this moment.”