Following the release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video, UW Political Science Professor Megan Ming Francis wrote an article for The Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog. On October 20, 2014, a white Chicago police officer shot the 16-year-old McDonald 16 times from behind; 13 months later, the video of the shooting was released following a Freedom of Information inquiry. This case and numerous others like it have led to the #BlackLivesMatter protests and in her article Prof. Francis addresses the question whether "#BlackLivesMatter protests [can] effect meaningful change in government."
Drawing on the research for her book Civil Rights and the Making of the Modern American State, Francis argues that "protest is necessary to reduce racial violence" and that "the current #BlackLivesMatter protests continue to reshape the relationship between citizens and government." While her book focuses on the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) battle against lynching and mob violence from 1909 to 1923, Francis relies upon this historical case to assess the current movement's chance of effecting meaningful governmental change.
The article entitled "Here's how to make government care about black lives" was published on The Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog on December 1st.