The US Embassy in Athens flew a Black Lives Matter (BLM) banner on Tuesday, one year since the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020.
The killing of the 46-year-old father of five shocked the world, and provoked a reckoning with racial justice not only in America but across the planet.
Protests against police brutality and racism were staged in cities around the world, including in front of the US Embassy in Athens, in response to the disturbing video that showed every minute of the horrifying murder of George Floyd.
US Embassy, Consulate Message on Anniversary of Floyd’s Death
In a statement published on Facebook, the US Embassy in Athens stated:
“We raise this banner in honor of George Floyd, murdered one year ago today, in solidarity with people around the globe seeking a world without racial discrimination and a future with equal opportunity for all.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken authorized the display of BLM flags and banners on US embassies around the world to mark the anniversary of Floyd’s murder on Tuesday.
Activists and US diplomats have celebrated the decision, noting that the death of George Floyd last year shook international confidence in the US’ commitment to human rights and racial justice.
Many expect that Blinken’s authorization of BLM flags will also garner controversy, especially from conservative politicians, who remain distrustful of the BLM movement.
The US Consulate in Thessaloniki has also flown the Black Lives Matter flag to mark the day. “We raise this flag to mark one year since the murder of George Floyd – we honor Mr. Floyd and stand in solidarity with other nations to advance racial justice, a key priority within U.S. foreign policy #BLM.” read a statement on US Consulate’s twitter account.
We raise this flag to mark one year since the murder of George Floyd – we honor Mr. Floyd and stand in solidarity with other nations to advance racial justice, a key priority within U.S. foreign policy #BLM pic.twitter.com/IdApjPaJYR
— US Consulate Thess (@USConsulateThes) May 25, 2021
Marches, demonstrations on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder
The George Floyd Memorial Foundation lead a march in Minneapolis on Tuesday, which included members of the Floyd family, activists, and other family members of people who have been killed by police.
The Foundation urged those who support their cause but cannot attend the march to raise awareness virtually, and to support local Black-owned businesses.
US President Biden also hosted the Floyd family at the White House to honor the memory of their loved one.
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.
Watch exclusive interviews and coverage with relatives and friend’s of police victims from last year’s protest in New York: