Global human rights leader and the son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther King III, talked about all of this on what's become a very powerful day.
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"I think we have to actually continue to assess," King III said, regarding if we have seen an impactful change over the past year. He cited the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act that's currently in the Senate as an important piece of progress. "That's just one step, there are many, many more that have to take place."
Continuing the conversation on the federal level, King III said President Joe Biden is moving issues in the right direction. King III also cited the Justice Department that's looking at policing in Minneapolis and preparing recommendations on how to transform police departments and hold them accountable.
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Locally, Berkeley has changed how traffic stops are conducted. San Francisco has created a crisis response team for mental health calls and all of this is progress. "I think every one of those steps are potentially very significant," King III said. "Police respond to any and everything. That's not their fault, it's just police can't do everything. We do need specific professionals, particularly, to deal with the issue of mental health challenges. The concept of de-escalation has to be brought up . We have to teach the police how to de-escalate. That's something I think constantly needs to be included in discussions."
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King III recently made headlines for his comments about boycotting professional sports - he says boycotting is one of the most powerful tools that exist.
"During the civil rights movement, it was 385 days of my father and his team, along with others, who decided not to ride buses in the city of Montgomery. That's what transformed that particular issue of desegregating the buses. I think boycotting is at least something to consider," King III said.
Although he is disappointed in how the Colin Kaepernick situation has been handled, he says overall we're seeing a "far more greater level of consciousness because of what athletes themselves are doing."
So, according to King III we are taking some steps but in his words, "This unfortunately is not a sprint. it's a marathon... and it's going to take a lot of work."