Black Lives Matter is a US grassroots activist movement which campaigns to affirm the value of black lives and to end police discriminatory treatment and violence against African Americans. The BLM movement began on social media in July 2013 with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter in response to the acquittal of a Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer, of shooting and killing a 17 year old unarmed African American student, Trayvon Martin. This movement continued to grow as it achieved national and global attention following the shooting death of Michael Brown, another unarmed African American teenager, this time by a white police officer in August 2014.
Recently, the movement exploded onto national and global headlines following the May 2020 George Floyd murder by Minneapolis police office Derek Chauvin. According to polls, an estimated 15 to 26 million people protested in the United States. Although the BLM advocates for non-violent civil disobedience protests, demonstrations and protests in numerous cities erupted into rioting, looting and violence.