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American Police64:29
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A line of policemen take aim. (Bettmann/Bettmann Archive)
A line of policemen take aim. (Bettmann/Bettmann Archive)

Black Americans being victimized and killed by the police is an epidemic. A truth many Americans are acknowledging since the murder of George Floyd, as protests have occurred in all fifty states calling for justice on his behalf. But this tension between African American communities and the police has existed for centuries. This week, the origins of American policing and how those origins put violent control of Black Americans at the heart of the system.


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Photos: Policing In America

A line of policemen take aim. (Bettmann/Bettmann Archive)
An African American family leaving Florida during the Great Migration. (MPI/Getty Images)
National Guardsmen questioning an African American man in Chicago, during the race riots of 1919. (Jun Fujita/Chicago History Museum/Getty Images)

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