How are the Black Lives Matter Protests Impacting Students at CSUEB?

Isiah Thompson, Contributor

Since March, Black Lives Matter protests have been a popular sight in the Bay Area; the movement is as widespread as it’s ever been, the moniker is displayed in professional sporting events, local businesses, and on local streets and murals.
Some California State University, East Bay students have attended protests and witnessed the impact, the movement has made elected officials respond, and made some actually implement change into their communities, as the presidential election approaches, it’s applicable to wonder how the protests have affected students’ perspectives.
The impact of the protests has added incentive to vote for students like Char’reale Stuger, a graduating communication major.
“ I think it’s really important that everyone get out and vote, more so than ever. I think this election will really dictate how the next five to ten years will go,” Stuger said.
The May 25 police killing of 46-year-old Black man George Floyd, who was detained by police for a counterfeit $20 bill sparked protests all over the world, the tragedy would put spotlight on the conversation of how police should function in society, the effectiveness of the U.S. justice system, and the action, and inaction, of elected officials. The movement also brought attention to past cases of police misconduct, resulting in the reexamination of numerous cases.
“It was very difficult to watch,” said Stuger, “but I think it opened a lot of people’s eyes to the reality of Black people in America. We live with that fear.”
The wrongful death of George Floyd would fuel numerous movements in various communities. The attention it garnered would result in countless petitions demanding elected officials re open past cases and address racism in their communities.
“That easily could’ve been me. The fact that she still hasn’t received justice hurts. As a Black woman, we’re not protected in society, [and] this situation is a prime example,” said Stuger on the strong impact the death of Breonna Taylor had on the Black community.
On Sept. 22 Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the next day’s backlash, from the results of the Breonna Taylor case, the 26-year-old Black woman working as an emergency room technician who was shot five times in her home.
According to The New York Times, on Mar. 13 a little after midnight, the Louisville police carried out a search warrant on Taylor’s home, believing a man Taylor had been connected to was using her house to sell drugs.
The officers were initially cleared for a no-knock entry search warrant, but that was altered before the raid to a knock and announce. Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker were lying in bed when they heard a loud knock at the door, they both asked who it was and received no response, the police then knocked down the door, Walker grabbed his gun and shot one officer in the thigh. Taylor was shot five times and didn’t receive medical attention for 20 plus minutes.
Of the three officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor and the botched search warrant, only one officer was charged and fired, his name is Brett Hankison. Hankison shot ten rounds into the apartment.
With election day, Nov. 3, looming, it will be interesting to see the real impact of the protests on voters.