Here is a summary of events in the on-going Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests.
“I can’t breathe.” These were the last words of George Floyd before he was killed in the hands of four officers from the Minneapolis Police Department.
These words are also now among the various chants that can be heard in the nationwide protests as people demand justice for Floyd’s death and call for an end to the discrimination against black people.
Here is a brief summary of what happened in the ongoing series of protests for George Floyd and for supporting the calls of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The protests started in Minneapolis on May 26, where people gathered in the city’s third precinct as well as the site of Floyd’s murder.
On May 27, protests spread to other cities like Los Angeles and Memphis as Floyd’s family and citizens demand murder charges for all the four police officers responsible for his death.
Both peaceful and violent protests continued for the following days. Eventually, on May 29, Derek Chauvin, the police officer who pinned Floyd to death by kneeling on his neck was charged with third-degree murder.
Mandatory curfews were imposed in Minneapolis in lights of the protests. “I can’t breathe” protests were also conducted in Lafayette Park across the White House, with reports of President Trump hiding in the bunker.
The following days, people continued demanding for the arrests of the other three police officers involved in Floyd’s murder and ending police brutality. In response, a curfew was implemented in Washington D.C. and National Guard soldiers were activated in several states.
On June 1, an independent autopsy confirmed Floyd’s cause of death to be asphyxiation from sustained pressure. On June 2, a civil rights investigation of the Minnesota Police Department was launched to determine if systemic discriminatory practices are present.
On June 3, Chauvin’s murder charge was elevated to the second-degree. Meanwhile, the other three police officers Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
On June 4, largely peaceful protests continued across the country. CNN also reported all 50 states already having participated in some form of protest.
Apart from the United States, support for the Black Lives Matter and Floyd protests have been reported in countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Israel, Sudan, Canada, South Africa, Brazil, and New Zealand.
While it is George Floyd’s murder which has sparked this series of protests, the issue of police brutality and racial discrimination is a matter which has thrived for generations in the history of the U.S.
There is compelling evidence for racially-biased policing and other forms of discrimination directed towards black people. Decades of systemic oppression has waged a diabolical war against black people. Now the world demands the collapse of these atrocities.
A life of dignity, fair treatment, and peace is no huge demands. The colour of one’s skin, their class, or their race should never be a barrier for anyone to live such a life.
Raising our voices to condemn these injustices committed to the black people is long overdue. Too many lives have already been destroyed and lost. We cannot allow this to continue any further by remaining silent.
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