Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, More Demand Justice for George Floyd
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 knelt on 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. Three days later, Chauvin was arrested and charged third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Preliminary autopsy results found that Floyd “had underlying health conditions” and did not appear to have died from strangulation or asphyxiation, but his family has requested an independent exam.
“We expected a first-degree murder charge [for Chauvin]. We want a first-degree murder charge. And we want to see the other officers arrested,” the North Carolina native’s family said in a statement to The New York Times via civil rights attorney Ben Crump on May 29. “The pain that the black community feels over this murder and what it reflects about the treatment of black people in America is raw and is spilling out onto streets across America.”