Tens of thousands of people gathered this past Saturday in cities far from the United States to express anger over the death of George Floyd, a sign that the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality is resonating with wider calls to address racism from Australia to Europe.
Tiana Day marches with others on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Saturday, June 6, 2020, at a protest in response to the death of George Floyd. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
Demonstration organizers speak to the crowd during a protest, Saturday, June 6, 2020, in Simi Valley, Calif. over the death of George Floyd. Protests continue throughout the country over the death of Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25.
Demonstration co-organizer Alyssa Brown chokes up as she speaks during a protest, Saturday, June 6, 2020, in Simi Valley, Calif., over the death of George Floyd. Floyd died after he was restrained in police custody on Memorial Day in Minneapolis.
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
People march to the Mishawaka Police Department during a protest over racial injustice and the deaths of black citizens at the hands of police on Saturday, June 6, 2020, in Mishawaka, Ind. The death of George Floyd at the hands of police last month in Minneapolis has sparked nationwide protests for police reform.
Even after a week of the most significant protests the U.S. has seen in a generation, Saturday’s crowds stood out. Cities are imposing curfews and states are activating National Guard members to calm down the demonstrators but they continue to express pain and anger with chants, signs, and outbreaks of violence. And while many questions, like what’s going to happen to the police officers involved in the incident, are still unanswered, one thing is certain: the demands for justice and an end to police brutality against African Americans have united the entire country and people of all backgrounds are taking a knee together.
Below you can see what the public knows about Mr. Floyd’s death so far, based on accounts from witnesses, video footage, and official statements.
1# A Group Of Black People Protecting A Cop Who Got Separated From The Others
Everything began with reporting a fake $20 bill, that was made on the evening of the 25th of May when Mr. Floyd bought a pack of cigarettes from a grocery store. The store employee thought that Mr. Floyd’s bill was counterfeit and reported it to the police.
Mr. Floyd had been living in Minneapolis for several years after. Recently, he had been working as a bouncer but just like so many other Americans and became unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Floyd was a regular at Cup Foods, the grocery store where he tried to buy the cigarettes. Mike Abumayyaleh, the owner of the store, told NBC that Mr. Floyd was a friendly face and a pleasant customer who never caused any trouble. But that day, Mr. Abumayyaleh wasn’t working.
2# A Veteran Protesting His Government After Fighting For It Shows The United Fight For Equality
Two police officers arrived at the scene at around 20:08, Mr. Floyd was sitting in a car parked around the corner with two other people. After approaching them, one of the officers, Thomas Lane, pulled out his gun and ordered Mr. Floyd to show his hands. In an account of the incident, prosecutors didn’t explain why Mr. Lane thought it was necessary to point out his gun. According to the prosecutors, Mr. Lane “put his hands on Mr. Floyd, and pulled him out of the car“. Then Mr. Floyd began actively resisting handcuffs.
Once handcuffed, Mr. Floyd became compliant and Mr. Lane explained that he was being arrested for “passing counterfeit currency“. But when officers tried to put Mr. Floyd in their squad car, a struggle erupted. At around 20:14, Mr. Floyd “stiffened up, fell to the ground, and told the officers he was claustrophobic“, a transcript released by authorities explained. Mr. Chauvin arrived at the scene. He and other officers were involved in further attempts to get Mr. Floyd in the police car.
3# A Protester And A Police Officer Today In Fargo. This Is What Solidarity Looks Like
At 20:19, Mr. Chauvin pulled Mr. Floyd out of the passenger side, causing the man to fall on the ground. As he was lying there, face down, in handcuffs, witnesses started to film Mr. Floyd, where he appeared to be in a distressed state. These moments that were captured on multiple mobile phones and shared widely on social media were Mr. Floyd’s last. As officers were restraining Mr. Floyd, Mr. Chauvin placed his left knee between his head and neck. “I can’t breathe,” Mr. Floyd said repeated, pleading for his mother and begging “please, please, please“. Mr. Chauvin kept his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
About 6 minutes into that period, Mr. Floyd was no longer responding, and bystanders urged the officers to check his pulse. One of the other officers, JA Kueng, did exactly that and said he “couldn’t find one“. But the officers did not move. At 20:27, Mr. Chauvin removed his knee from Mr. Floyd’s neck, he was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center in an ambulance and was pronounced dead around an hour later.
4# It’s Not White vs. Black, Rich vs. Poor, Police vs. Citizens….it’s Everyone vs. Racists
5# From The Raleigh Protest
On the 29th of May, Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman charged Mr. Chauvin with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. His bail has been set at $500,000. Mr. Floyd’s family and their attorney, Benjamin Crump, are upset that Mr. Chauvin wasn’t charged with a more serious offense.
“We expected a first-degree murder charge. We want a first-degree murder charge. And we want to see the other officers arrested,” Crump and the family said in a statement. “We call on authorities to revise the charges to reflect the true culpability of this officer.” If convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, Mr. Chauvin would be facing up to 25 years in prison on the first charge and up to 10 years on the second. Mr. Freeman said charges against the other three officers are likely.
A GoFundMe campaign dedicated to George Floyd has raised more than $7 million. George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, organized the fundraiser, which is called the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund, and according to the page’s description, the funds will be used to cover funeral and burial expenses, grief counseling, and lodging and travel for all court proceedings.
6# My 6yr Old Daughter, She Sees Whats On The News, We Explained What Happened To George Floyd And She Was Mortified. Today She Made A Sign And Is Doing Her Own Peaceful Protest In Our Front Yard. I Am So Proud!
7# Portland, Oregon. Police Demonstrating And Trying To Show They Hear And Understand The Frustration.
Now, after tens of thousands of people flooded the streets across the US, after buildings were set on fire and businesses were looted, President Trump has criticized the unrest, and Attorney General William P. Barr warned people that contributing to the destruction could make them face federal charges. Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota said the people who are defying curfews and trying to instigate police were no longer protesting police brutality, but rather seeking to exploit Mr. Floyd’s death for their own political motives.
8# We’re Stronger Together
9# George Floyd – Philadelphia Protest
10# This Man Has Been Standing Alone In Our Town Square For The Past Few Days, Gods Bless His Courage
11# Helping Cleaning Up
12# Even The ‘Church Of God’ Community Are Standing By George
13# Cops In Kansas City Joined The Local Protest
14# Santa Cruz Police Chief Taking A Knee With Peaceful Protesters During A Demonstration In Santa Cruz, Ca
15# Danish Sympathy March For George Floyd. ~10.000 People Marching Peacefully Through Copenhagen.
16# Spreading The Love
17# This Is Also Happening In Minneapolis
18# A Group Of People Forming A Human Barricade And Protecting The Store To Prevent People From Looting
19# Where Are The News Vans Now?
“The news crews focus on black people looting, but there are many of us here also trying to clean up. They don’t focus on that!” This is Marvin Applewhite. He is leading efforts to clean up after riots. I haven’t heard any news organization show that there are people like him out there. He has a GoFundMe to help with supplies and food for the other volunteers – ChaoticEnigma1121
20# Police Captain Joins Protesters
21# Modist Brewing In Minneapolis
22# Police In Muskegon, Mi Showing Their Support For Protesters Outside Of The County Courthouse Today.
23# It’s Not Black vs. White People, It Is Everyone vs. Racists
24# Protesters Gathering In Front Of The Us Embassy In Berlin, Germany Today. We Stand With You
25# The Police Taking A Knee With Protesters In Miami, Florida
26# A Friend Of Mine In Minnesota. Stay Safe, Everyone. Except You, Tony.
27# 5/31/20 Washington Dc. “What The Media Doesn’t Show”
28# Protesters Spray Painted All Over This Monument Last Night. We Were All Trying To Scrub It Off When This Guy Showed Up With A Powerwasher.
29# Flint Police Just Laid Down Their Shields And Batons And Started Walking With Protestors
Here’s the Video pic.twitter.com/Xi27q1sHGZ
— Cousy 810 (@iamneilhazel) May 31, 2020
30# Emotional Moment Between An Officer And Protestor