The Incident that Shook the World

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From Minnesota to New York, across the United States, in numerous other countries, and on different continents – people came together to protest against racism and police brutality following the murder of George Floyd, who was killed while in the custody of Minneapolis police officers.  Since his death, people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, genders, and economic statuses, from different religious affiliations, and different age groups have marched in solidarity to demonstrate their outrage against this injustice.  They ignored the call for social distancing due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and cast aside the fear of contamination, to ensure that their voices were heard.

For the most part, protests around the world have been peaceful. 

However, tensions flared in several cities where police cars were set on fire, and streets were blocked as protestors and police officers clashed.  Tensions were indeed high as hundreds of angry demonstrators shocked the White House, and Secret Service Agents rushed president Trump to an underground bunker, where he retreated temporarily until the anxious crowd could be sent away. 

President Trump urged Mayors and Governors to, “Get tough,” to bring the protests under control.

Thousands of people have been arrested since the protests began. 

The governors of several major cities, including New York, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, and Denver, called upon the National Guard and imposed curfews to restore order and stop violent protests. 

There has been a resurgence in activist groups promoting the Black Lives Matter movement.  According to members of this movement, much of the violence at protests and rioting has been committed by racist whites, who are actually joining in with the demonstrations, to be divisive, to portray African-Americans as a problem for society.  Videos have surfaced on social media, showing White people spray painting the words “Black Lives Matter” onto buildings, and when asked why they are doing this, they answered, “We’re doing it for Black people.”  However, actual members of the Black Lives Matter movement insist that they are encouraging peaceful protests and have not asked anyone to vandalize property or do anything else that is negative, on their behalf. 

Nevertheless, many protesters were outraged that police have killed another unarmed Black man.  According to independent studies, getting killed by police is a leading cause of death in America, and about 17% of the Black people who were killed by police were unarmed.  Other outraged protestors questioned the lack of accountability for police officers who used excessive force and demanded police reforms.  The video was taken by bystanders of George Floyd’s murder, shows there is a pervasive problem in America and a definite need for change.  

Thanks to bystanders who captured the incident on video, the interaction between the four police officers and the late George Floyd was seen across the world.  On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black male, cried and begged for his life as 3 Minneapolis police officers pinned him to the ground, while a fourth officer held watch over the scene.  One officer, Derek Chauvin, kept his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck, while Mr. Floyd, pleaded and said he could not breathe.  The video shows that even after Mr. Floyd loss consciousness, Mr. Chauvin, still had his knee pressed against his neck.  All four police officers were fired the day after George Floyd’s death. 

Initially, Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, in the killing of George Floyd’s.  However, following protests, and further examination into the case, former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second-degree murder. The other three former officers – Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

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