Only but a year ago, the term “Black Lives Matter” was something with which we were just familiar. However, following May 25, 2020, it becomes a symbol of widespread protest not merely in America but all over the world. The event that transpired on the afore-mentioned date sparked awareness in the minds of people and opened their eyes to the injustice prevalent in most parts of the world against black people. Yes, you have guessed accurately. I’m referring to the death case of the American hip-hop artist, George Floyd.
Incident: Death of George Floyd
On May 25, 2020, a black man aged 46 years, George Perry Floyd, died during his arrest on the alleged charges of utilising counterfeit money. The happening ensued in the city of Minneapolis, in the state of Minnesota, located in the United States of America. The cause of death was the absence of oxygen as a result of forceful, violent choking. Derek Chauvin, an officer, affiliated with the Minneapolis Police Department, handcuffed George and made him lie face down on the road. He, then, proceeded to kneel on George’s neck, directly bringing about his death. Although Floyd complained of being unable to breathe, the officer paid him no heed. Even after feeling no pulse on Floyd, officer Chauvin refused to remove his knee until prompted by the medics.
Suspects: Death of George Floyd
Other than Derek Chauvin, who was directly involved in the case, three other officers have received passive charges. The culprits include officers J.Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane who assisted officer Chauvin in restraining George Floyd. Additionally, the list also comprises officer Tou Thao who was responsible for preventing interference from civilians. Following the publicity of the cruel incident, the police authorities dismissed all four officers. Furthermore, two autopsies declared Floyd’s death to be an irrefutable homicide.
Verdict: Death of George Floyd
Initially, the court charged officer Chauvin with third-degree murder as well as second-degree manslaughter. Additionally, to the charges, authorities later added second-degree murder. Officer Kueng, officer Lane and officer Thao received the charges of assisting and encouraging the second-degree murder. Consequently, officer Chauvin was awaiting trial for the murder. However, on October 7, 2020, Chauvin got exempted from trial and bailed via a bail bond agency. The bail cost him $1 million, a mere sum to pay for one’s life.
Following this, the Department of Corrections acknowledged that the state’s facility in Oak Park Heights no longer held custody of Chauvin. According to reports, Chauvin has been ‘reshaped’ following the manslaughter. Moreover, in addition to the bail, Chauvin must adhere to certain conditions. These clauses incorporate the requirement of him not leaving Minnesota. He also had to yield any firearms in his possession. Furthermore, Chauvin will be unable to apply for a job in any law enforcement sectors and should, under any circumstances, not try to contact Floyd’s family. This cruel unanticipated incident led to the spread of the #BlackLivesMatter outline, something that people should have done a long time ago.
Protests: Death of George Floyd
George Floyd’s death instigated protests against police brutality, racism and absence of police liability, worldwide. Following Chauvin’s release, governor Tim Walz had to mobilise the Minnesota National Guard ‘out of an abundance of caution’. According to Walz, he decided to so in regards to public safety. Walz stated, to help local authorities, he had assembled 100 state troopers and 75 Department of Natural Resources conservation officers. Nevertheless, the anger directed at Chauvin has not died down even after so many months of the incident. The people protested against such hostility not only physically but took it up to the internet as well.
— Dymanh Chhoun (@Dymanh) October 8, 2020
In the evening of October 7, 2020, in south Minneapolis, the civilians stepped out of their comfort zones to protest. They trooped numerous blocks while chanting “No Justice, No Peace — Prosecute the Police.” Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, the attorneys for the Floyd family, stated that Chauvin’s bail “is a painful reminder” of the prevalent injustice. The protests were mostly peaceful and transpired primarily on East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue. Furthermore, individual protestors took to the 5th Precinct building of the Minneapolis Police Department at 31st Street and Nicollet Avenue.
— Dymanh Chhoun (@Dymanh) October 8, 2020