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Remembering the Murder of George Floyd One Year Later

Murder George Floyd
A memorial for George Floyd in South Minneapolis. Credit: Chad Davis/Wikimedia Commons/ CC-BY-SA-2.0

The murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin one year ago today sent shock waves around the world.

Just over a month after Chauvin was found guilty of murdering the 46-year-old father of five, the world will commemorate one year since the death of George Floyd on Tuesday.

The Floyd family will use the day as an opportunity to honor their beloved family member and raise awareness about police killings, especially of unarmed Black men, in America.

Marches, demonstrations on the anniversary of the murder

The George Floyd Memorial Foundation is leading a march in Minneapolis on Tuesday, which will include members of the Floyd family, activists, and other family members of people who have been killed by police.

The Foundation urges those who support their cause but cannot attend the march to raise awareness virtually, and to support local Black-owned businesses.

US President Biden will also host the Floyd family at the White House to honor the memory of their loved one.

President Biden made May 25 the deadline for Congress to pass the Federal George Floyd Policing Act, which aims to tackle the issue of police brutality at the local, state, and federal levels by limiting police force and banning racial profiling.

The bill has already passed through the House but faces an uncertain future in the Senate, which is nearly split along party lines, and it seems unlikely that it will pass by Biden’s deadline.

Murder of George Floyd shocked the world

On May 25, 2020, a group of shoppers and pedestrians were shocked as what seemed to be a routine arrest for using a counterfeit $20 bill devolved into a brutal murder, in which Minneapolis police officer Chauvin pressed his knee on the neck of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, for nearly ten minutes.

Despite pleas from Floyd himself and numerous bystanders, some of whom worked in the medical field, to take his knee off Floyd’s neck, Chauvin continued, eventually killing him.

During the last two minutes of the arrest, Floyd had no pulse and was not moving.

Witnesses managed to record the entire murder on their cellphones, producing a video of a killing so disturbing and brutal that the entire country, and eventually the whole world, reacted with protest.

Perhaps most chillingly, what was etched on the video contradicted the Minneapolis Police Department’s press release about Floyd’s death, which was released before the existence of the video was known.

The report lacked detail about the incident and characterized the murder incorrectly, referring to Floyd’s death as a “medical incident during a police interaction.”

Medical examiners later found Floyd’s death to be a homicide.

Chauvin found guilty on three counts

Chauvin, along with the other two police officers present at the murder, who have not yet been tried, was arrested four days after Floyd’s death, only after the video was released and provoked outcry.

After he was found guilty of three counts related to the death of George Floyd, including second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, Chauvin became the first white police officer convicted for the murder of a Black person in Minnesota.

Many credit Darnella Frazier, a young woman present during the murder who recorded the entire traumatic event on her cellphone, for helping expose the truth of circumstances surrounding the killing to the world.

Minneasota Governor Tim Walz thanked Frazier publicly, stating that the video “maybe the only reason that Derek Chauvin will go to prison.”

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