May 25 marks the first death anniversary of George Floyd, who was brutally killed in police custody. The 46-year old African American man was arrested by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020 and suffered death by asphyxiation from sustained pressure inflicted by Chauvin. He and three other officers were fired post the heinous event.
Almost a year ago, this unfortunate incident ignited one of the biggest sustained protests in American history. Floyd’s death led to several organized protests and fuelled the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, globally. With the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter trending, the movement gained momentum in the UK, USA and other countries all over the world.
The protesters condemned the killing and demanded immediate arrest of the 4 officers on duty and be charged with murder.
A day after Floyd’s death, on May 26, the terrifying video footage of the officer pinning Floyd to the ground with his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck while the handcuffed man repeated “I can’t breathe”, got circulated on social media.
This incident stirred up renewed protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement that was founded in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman. The latter had shot an unarmed Black teenager, Trayvon and killed him.
What happened to George Floyd:
At 8.08 pm, based on an alleged charge of forgery (use of a fake 20$ bill at a local shop), Floyd was arrested by police officer Chauvin.
Floyd was handcuffed and despite complaining of loss of breath, was treated atrociously by the four officers. While the man lay face down on the ground, Chauvin placed his knee on the head, neck, the Kueung and Lane (other 2 officers) held Floyd’s back and leg for 7 minutes.
The Black Lives Matter Movement raises its protest against such jarring acts of police brutality, campaigns against systemic racism meted to Black people. It demands a termination to police violence, social injustice.
Since the 1960s civil rights movement, this Black Lives Matter Movement is considered the biggest movements witnessed in history.
The Norwegian MP Petter Eide nominated the Black Lives Matter movement for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Two days before (May 23), Floyd’s family (siblings, children) assembled at Hennepin County Government Center, Minneapolis to mark his death anniversary.