George Floyd was a 46-year-old black man living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He had family and friends. He had a life. He had a life until May 25, 2020 when a white police officer named Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for some time between 5 and 10 minutes while he cried that he could not breathe and begged for his mother. Over the course of the horrendous video, bystanders beg the cop to lift his knee and check George's pulse. Floyd himself says "My stomach hurts, my neck hurts, everything hurts ... I can't breathe." Instead of listening and changing his restraint position, Chauvin continues to kneel and the video shows Floyd slowly becoming motionless.
Sign on if you want the men responsible to be charged and convicted for their crimes!
There were three other police officers present and not one of them did anything to stop the obvious brutality. There are multiple videos of the incident and in them, many of the bystanders are also begging the cop to stop kneeling on George's neck. One woman who says she is a firefighter told the cop to check his pulse and tell her what it is. Chauvin does nothing but continue to casually kneel on a man's neck while he lays still. The three other cops also mill around with hands in their pockets, doing nothing while a man begs for his life FOR MINUTES.
In moments like this it's easy to try to explain the police brutality by grasping for reasons why the victim deserved this treatment. But there is actually nothing a person could do to deserve to be slowly murdered while ten people look on when there are safer ways to detain a person. Police are not meant to be judge, jury, and executioner and it's time we stop allowing them to be. Derek Chauvin also has a history of misconduct with at least ten complaints against him and he has been involved with at least two murders by cop in his career, that we know of.
State and federal authorities are investigating and the good news is that all four of those officers have been fired now. But losing your job for murder is not a punishment that fits the crime. That's why we need to keep pushing until there are murder charges. All too often, once cases like these fall out of public attention, those in charge drop charges or lessen them.
The night after Floyd's murder, people were protesting the police brutality in the streets and police broke it up with riot gear and tear gas. Meanwhile, there have been protests against the lock down in Minnesota where white people with actual assault weapons have congregated and, unsurprisingly, the police did not attack or detain them.
Sign on if you want to see some justice for George Floyd in the form of actual murder charges and convictions for these four cops!
*UPDATE 1: Derek Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and the other three complicit officers, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao have also been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder. But this fight is not over, and it never should have taken over a week of nationwide protests and riots for it to happen. Sometimes when the public looks away, prosecuters drop charges in cases of police brutality. That's why we will continue to apply pressure until all four officers have actually been held accountable.
*UPDATE 2: Derek Chauvin's trial began on March 29, 2021. We must keep public pressure on in demanding a fair trial and a fitting punishment for the brutal murder of George Floyd; he and his family deserve justice. Keep signing and sharing the petition.