The year of reckoning: How 2020 revealed the fault lines in American policing
Updated 4:12 PM ET, Fri December 18, 2020
(CNN)Every morning, Victor Wahl walks into his office with a sense of dread.
Months of intense protests and heightened scrutiny have left the acting police chief of Madison, Wisconsin, like many in his shoes, on edge about what lies ahead.
"I'm fearful to find a bunch of resignations on my desk," said Wahl, whose department has lost twice the number of officers this year compared to previous years.
The national reckoning over race and policing -- sparked by the killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day -- resulted in more than 10,000 demonstrations nationwide. At one point, Wahl's department faced 119 straight days of protests.
"We're asking so much of officers now," Wahl said.
The killing of Floyd -- compounded by a string of other high-profile police encounters -- has driven the public outcry for change in policing, with some calling to defund or abolish police departments entirely. Agencies have faced frequent Black Lives Matter protests, armed counter protestors, and demonstrations over Covid-restrictions and election results -- with much of the interactions with police instantly captured on video, leaving little room for excuses and louder demands for transparency and accountability.