- 27 May 20
Trigger warning: content and videos linked ahead contain graphic images and description. The African American man was killed by a police officer, who held him down by kneeling on his neck for five minutes.
Hundreds of protesters gathered on the streets of Minneapolis yesterday (May 26) to demand justice for the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man who died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck late Monday night, following an altercation earlier that day. Protesters and activists, who made up one of the largest protests against police brutality the city has seen, began at the intersection where the altercation took place and marched to the police precinct, where they graffitied squad cars and shouted "prosecute the police". Police responded by using tear gas to disperse the crowd.
Just so I can get this right: Dozens of armed white men take over the state capitol and the police do nothing but watch. People demonstrate about the murder of a black man by police...This is America. This is what this country is. #GeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/7ftzy1NJHt
— Daniel Stewart (@dnstewart67) May 27, 2020
In the video footage of the incident, which is ten minutes in length and initially posted by Darnella Frazier on Facebook , a small crowd pleads with two police officers to let Floyd (who is on the ground with his arms behind his back) get up. Floyd can initially be heard yelling "I cannot breathe" and "don't kill me", while an officer kneels on his neck, before becoming entirely unresponsive. The officer remains in position, refusing to release Floyd. A member of the crowd can be heard saying "Bro, he's not even fucking moving" while another points out Floyd's nose has begun to bleed. Later in the video, the crowd pleads with officers to "check his pulse", to no avail.
Trying very hard to avoid the video of George Floyd’s murder. Even the photo is distressing. Awareness needs to be raised but I also struggle with how easily people share footage of black people dying and suffering. So many things aren’t right but I don’t have the right words...
— Naomi Kellman (@Naomi_Kellman) May 27, 2020
Police officers were called to a grocery store to investigate Floyd's possible use of a forged check, and police claimed Floyd "physically resisted officers" and was potentially under the influence of drugs and alcohol. According to the police statement of the altercation, Floyd "died a short time" after a "medical incident", following his transport to hospital. “[They] were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and realized that the suspect was suffering a medical distress,” according to a spokesman, who said officers “called for an ambulance”.
Here is Derek Chauvin, the racist cop who kept his knee on #GeorgeFloyd’s neck, cut off his air passage and murdered him, wearing a “Make Whites Great Again” hat, a clear sign that this piece of excrement should’ve been taken off the streets a long time ago.#JusticeForFloyd pic.twitter.com/KxGxHAIzlH
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) May 27, 2020
Apologising to Floyd's family, the mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, said George Floyd "should not have died" in a press conference before adding,“For five minutes we watched as a white officer pressed his knee to the neck of a black man,” Frey said. “For five minutes. This officer failed in the most basic human sense".
Four officers involved in the altercation have been fired, and the FBI is conducting an investigation into Floyd's death for potential civil rights violations. Twitter users and protesters alike are calling for the police officers involved to be charged with murder.
- Feature image by Eric Miller/Reuters.