A MOMENT of silence was held for George Floyd today to mark one year since he died gasping for air under the knee of ex-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin.
Floyd died on May 25, 2020, shortly after he was arrested for allegedly attempting to use a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes at a grocery store.
His death triggered worldwide protests against racism and police brutality.
Derek Chauvin, one of the police officers involved, was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd.
Soon after the tragic incident, a video surfaced of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck while he laid on the ground for more than nine minutes. Floyd’s dying words, “I can’t breathe”, became a rallying cry for street demonstrators.
Prosecutors said Chauvin treated Floyd with particular cruelty during the lengthy restraint, saying Chauvin inflicted gratuitous pain and caused psychological distress to Floyd and to bystanders.
They also said Chauvin abused his position of authority as a police officer, committed his crime as part of a group of three or more people, and that he pinned Floyd down in the presence of children — including a nine-year-old girl who testified at trial that watching the restraint made her “sad and kind of mad.”
A rally in Minneapolis was held on May 23, 2021, to remember Floyd.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Hennepin County Government Center, where Chauvin’s trial was held, including members of George Floyd’s family and others who lost loved ones to police encounters.
Many marchers carried signs, banners and pictures of Floyd, along with other men killed at the hands of the authorities.
Gov. Tim Walz issued a proclamation on Monday, asking Minnesotans to hold a one-minute silence for Floyd at 1pm local time Tuesday.
“George Floyd’s murder ignited a global movement and awakened many Minnesotans and people around the world to the systemic racism that our Black communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color have known for centuries,” the proclamation read.
“This historic verdict was a step in the right direction, but our work to dismantle systematic racism and discrimination has not ended. True justice for George Floyd will come only through real, systemic change to prevent acts like this from happening again—when every member of every community, no matter their race, is safe, valued, and protected.”
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