Black Americans have faced police brutality for generations

George Floyd’s death galvanized the nation this summer, and now the shooting of Jacob Blake is the latest in decades of Black Americans who faced violence at the hands of police. When will it end?
6:41 | 08/31/20

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Transcript for Black Americans have faced police brutality for generations
Get in the car, man. Get in the car. This is the moment that ignited the movement of today. George Floyd! George Floyd! We have to be the change. And this is the face of 46-year-old George Perry Floyd Jr. A father, a brother, a friend. George Floyd became the straw that broke the camel's back. You enjoying that -- right now, bro. For 8 minutes and 46 seconds, we saw a man pleading for his life, and all the officer had to do was just stand up or move from his throat and perhaps this man would have been alive. Reporter: Attorney Lee Merritt says little has changed since martin Luther king Jr. Talked about the dream back in 1963. Dr. King said police brutality more than he said police brutality was a major civil rights issue of that time. And it remains so today. Reporter: Four police officers have now been charged in George Floyd's death. Officer Derek chauvin, who knelt on Floyd's neck for more than 8 minutes, charged with murder, the three other police officers have been charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. Four have yet to enter pleas. And just this week, another black man, another violent confrontation with law enforcement. Unlike George Floyd, Jacob Blake survived. He was not treated like a human that day. He was treated like some foreign object that didn't belong. I don't care how he comes out of this, but my brother made it, because he is a survivor. Blake, who had an open warrant connected to a domestic case, shot seven times in the back after police responded to a domestic disturbance call at his address in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Riots have broken out in Wisconsin, and the state's department of justice taking over the investigation. Mr. Blake admitted he had a knife in his possession. All involved law enforcement officers are fully cooperating with DCI during the investigation. Reporter: So far, no charges against the officers involved in Blake's shooting. Police brutality is state-sanctioned violence. When they're doubling down on an abusive system of policing that's stealing the lives and the dignity of black people, we don't have anything to lose. On average, the American police population kills about three people a day, roughly 1,100 people a year. That is not something that we as a society should come to accept. Michael Brown, Sean bell, Elijah Mcclain -- so many killings, so much of an impact on the black community. I haven't cried one time. I stopped crying years ago. I am numb. I have been watching police murderer people that look like me for years. I don't want your pity. I want change. Reporter: And now is the time, agrees reverend William barber for the change to begin. We're going to decide now that with every breath we have, we're gonna breathe freedom and justice and love into this democracy, and we're not going to stop. You see a willingness of folks to step out fully and completely and really seize this moment to usher in real visions of freedom. Just this week, several pro athletes taking a stand against brutality, refusing to play their regularly scheduled games. We are all fighting against a system of racialized control. Right now it's mass incarceration and police brutality, but the fact is, it's just a systemic racism directed at the African-American population. Reporter: Actor Kendrick Sampson says he experienced police violence while protesting in Los Angeles. They brutalized us. Shot us with rubber bullets, used batons. Yo, Yo, Yo, Yo, watch out. Don't touch me. I have a permanent wound on my chest and then I have some very visible ones, five, on my leg and those are from rubber bullets. Reporter: But racial bias goes deeper than police brutality, says reverend barber. It's deeply engrained into the fabric of society. It can't be limited to a single issue. Systemic racism is massive voter suppression. Systemic racism is the re-segregation of our public schools. Racism is mass incarceration, and it is the racist application of the death penalty. Some insist the road to reconciliation must include a kind of financial compensation for the crimes of the past. I do not know how that would be implemented, but I do know that reparations were made to the Japanese. And reparations were made to the and they figured out how to do it. If we're not looking at reparations, we're not getting to the root of the problem. We're not seeking justice, true Reporter: And true justice, says reverend barber, transcends race. We must bring together an intersectional coalition of people of every race, creed, color, and sexuality. You have to mobilize. You have to organize. You have to strategize, and then you have to vote in every election -- not just this most important one coming up, but every election. Congressman John Lewis penned some final words of encouragement for today's young leaders. Writing, when historians pick up their pens and they write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation that laid down the heavy burdens of hate. We are going to be a great generation! My grandfather predicted this very moment. He said that we were moving into a new phase of the struggle. The first phase was the civil rights, and the new phase is genuine equality! I think the story of the 21st century will be us, black people in this country, realizing our own power. I know that we will be our own authors. Reporter: When we come back, what is it that keeps this movement going forward? And a special performance. Stay with us. Who has time for wrinkles?

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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