Editor’s Note: LZ Granderson is a journalist and political analyst. He was a fellow at the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago and the Hechinger Institute at Columbia University. He is the sports and culture columnist for the Los Angeles Times and co-host of ESPN LA 710’s “Mornings With Keyshawn, LZ and Travis.” Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @lzgranderson. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. View more opinion articles on CNN.

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In 2012, Jackie Lacey made history. Not only did she become the first woman to serve as Los Angeles district attorney, she was also the first black person in the job. Lacey was born and raised in Crenshaw, and her victory appeared to represent a significant change for an office routinely criticized by community leaders for its slothful response to police brutality and corruption.

LZ Granderson

Since then there have been more than 500 officers involved in fatal shootings, and according to the Los Angeles Times, Lacey’s office has only brought charges against less than 1% of them.

Fair or not, perhaps this reality helps explain why protesters in Southern California felt the need to shut down a major highway and flood the streets of downtown Los Angeles Friday night in solidarity with Minneapolis.

In Minneapolis, Derek Chauvin, the former police officer seen on video kneeling on 46-year-old George Floyd’s neck, has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. (He has not yet been arraigned or entered a plea; his bail has been set at $500,000.) The three other officers connected to Floyd’s death have been fired, and one hopes they will face charges as well.

Eventually the uprisings in Minneapolis will subside, as well as the protests and community unrest peppered throughout the country, including in Lacey’s backyard. The camera crews documenting all of this will disperse as well.

And we will be left with one pressing question: Now what?

It’s intellectually dishonest to say we will return to “peace” and “quiet” because this country has never been at peace. We’ve had moments of quiet, albeit uneasy quiet, but never peace. How can a nation born out of genocide, built on slavery, and sustained by a system which places minorities firmly behind their white counterparts in every significant socioeconomic measurement by a considerable margin have peace? In fact, I would dare say all of these elected officials on TV clamoring for things to get back to “normal” are part of the problem.

“Normal” is not only what got us here, it is what keeps us here. What this nation needs is to move forward, and stories like Lacey’s — with her paltry prosecution of use-of-force — make it apparent what the first step needs to be.

There is an uncomfortable, symbiotic relationship between the nation’s police unions and the district and county attorneys who are elected to hold the union’s membership accountable. In the new light of the high-profile death of Floyd — and so many unarmed minority women and men at the hands of police officers — records like Lacey’s 500-to-1 certainly raises an eyebrow.