The Houston Public Library stands with our community members, our library customers, civic leaders, friends, and neighbors in the pursuit of racial equality and social justice. As a part of this commitment, we invite and value your thoughts and experiences related to race and social inequity. Houston Public Library invites you to type your responses, record yourself speaking, or provide images. All of these formats may be shared via this form. Select contributions will be added to the Witness to the Truth website."

A Note on Cultural Sensitivity: It is important to remember that for many people, the issue of police brutality is not an abstraction or a trending hashtag. It is unfortunately something that is experienced by Black people every day, well before the deaths of Michael Brown, Atatiana Jefferson, George Floyd, and others. People have parents, siblings, and children whose lives have been negatively affected by interactions with police and the court system. Consequently, when interviewing people about their perceptions of the Black Lives Matter movement, it is important to give people the emotional space to express themselves while also keeping the interview on track as much as possible. Understand that all interviewees may not be comfortable going into deep detail with you as an interviewer. If they are hesitant to answer a question, simply move on. Gaining trust and being respectful is crucial for collecting quality interviews. 

 

What does the phrase “police brutality” mean to you? 
Have past police brutality cases changed your perspective on policing as a whole?
Has police brutality influenced your life? If so, do you mind sharing how?
The current Black Lives Matter movement began about seven years ago with the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner. What were your thoughts about the movement then? Were you involved in any of those earlier protests?
Do you think that the relationship between the police and Black people (in the U.S., Houston, or both) has improved over the last few years? Why or why not?
How did you feel when you learned about the death of George Floyd?
George Floyd had some personal connections to the Houston community. Do you know anyone who knew him? How do you think his death touched people here?
After the death of George Floyd, how did you perceive the recent protests in Houston? Did you participate in the protests? Why or why not? 
What is/are the most pressing issue(s) currently affecting the Black community in the city of Houston? Do you think these issues are being addressed adequately? Why or why not? 
In your opinion, do you think it is possible to end police brutality? What would be the best way to end police brutality?
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