- 25 May 21
Progress against racial inequality and police brutality has been slow in the year since George Floyd's murder.
Today marks exactly one year since the tragic death of George Floyd.
The nine and a half minutes that Derek Chauvin spent kneeling on George's Floyd's neck, filmed by an onlooker and shared with horror around the world, sparked global outcry and a reckoning against police brutality that was felt far beyond the United States.
Chauvin, now a former Minneapolis Police officer, was convicted of Floyd's murder on April 20 this year.
On the anniversary of his murder, Floyd's family have been taking part in a number of events.
Philonise Floyd reflects on the year since the death of his brother George Floyd: "I think things have changed. I think it's moving slowly, but it's making progress."
Police reform legislation would "be one of the best things that you can pass across America,” he added. pic.twitter.com/WU5okonFtZ
— CNN (@CNN) May 25, 2021
On Sunday, his sister Bridgett Floyd and other family members marched in Minneapolis during a "One Year, What's Changed?" rally hosted by the George Floyd Memorial Foundation.
"It has been a long year. It has been a painful year," she told the crowd of marchers.
"It has been very frustrating for me and my family for our lives to change in the blink of an eye."
Also speaking at the event was veteran civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton, who called for action and a change in federal law from the US government.
“George Floyd should not go down in history as someone with a knee on his neck, but as someone who broke the chain of police brutality and illegality,” he said.
Later today, US President Joe Biden will host with members of the Floyd family in a private meeting at the White House.
He had initially also set today as a deadline for the US Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, however it has been held up in the Senate.
This legislation is set to ban the use of chokeholds, invest in police training and establish a national database of police misconduct.
Issues such as police immunity from lawsuits are behind the hold up.
One year ago today.
Rest in Power George Floyd.
— Black and Irish (@Black_andirish) May 25, 2021
Last year, millions all over the world marched in George Floyd's name and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, including here in Ireland.
The movement here gained even more urgency after the death of George Nkencho in Dublin in December 2020.
Nkencho died after being shot at multiple times by a Garda Armed Support Unit outside his home in Clonee while armed with a kitchen knife.
The shooting is still being investigated by the Garda Ombudsman, however the Nkencho family have expressed concerns and have called for an independent inquiry. They also stated the inquiry should examine issues of racial profiling and bias within An Garda Siochana.
A survey by the Irish Network Against Racism found that incidents of racial bias by Gardaí were 'unusually high' for 2020 and that racial profiling is a feature of Irish policing.
It also found that there is a complete lack of legislation to govern this practice in Ireland. Whether the much-needed changes occur remains to be seen, but the fact remains that the use of hazardous policing to oversee communities which would be better served by social workers, mental health professionals, and investment in addiction and educational schemes can no longer be condoned by those in Government.
On 30 December George Nkencho was shot dead by gardaí (Irish police) on the doorstep of his family's home.
At the time his sisters were in the house. They spoke to us about what happened that day. pic.twitter.com/AqLJIabIzm
— Stephanie Hegarty (@stephhegarty) May 21, 2021