Celebrities have been using their social media platforms to raise awareness and demand justice after the death of George Floyd.
The 46-year-old died in Minneapolis on May 25 after police officer Derek Chauvin pressed a knee into his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. Chauvin, 44, did not move even as Floyd repeatedly groaned, cried and said, “Please, the knee in my neck, I can’t breathe.”
Bystanders captured the incident on video and urged Chauvin and fellow officers Thomas K. Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng to “let him breathe.” After Floyd went silent and stopped moving on the ground, the bystanders repeatedly asked police to check his pulse, with one wondering, “Did they f–king kill him?” Another local pointed out that Floyd, who was being taken into custody for allegedly attempting to use a counterfeit $20 bill at a deli, was “not resisting arrest or nothing.”
The Minneapolis Police Department fired Chauvin, who is white, and the three other arresting officers on May 26 as the FBI began a civil rights investigation. Chauvin was later arrested and charged second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, while Lane, Thao and Kueng were charged with aiding and abetting murder.
The medical examiner classified Floyd’s death as a homicide on June 1, saying he “experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s).” The North Carolina native also suffered from heart disease, hypertension and the coronavirus and had fentanyl in his system when he died, although none of those factors were listed under his cause of death. A separate autopsy commissioned for Floyd’s family also ruled his death a homicide.
For more information, visit Blacklivesmatter.com.