The country is currently mourning the death of George Floyd, an unarmed nonviolent man who is seen handcuffed and helpless in a viral video while an officer holds a knee to his throat.
During this vicious assault, George continuously pleads with the officer to let him up, telling him numerous times he cannot breathe. The officer ignores him despite the people in the crowd yelling at him to stop. He kept telling people in the crowd that George was resisting arrest. A blatant lie for his inexcusable violence. This story is sad, heartbreaking, and demonstrates the infuriating reality of the power systemic racism still holds in this country.
According to CBS News Minnesota, an FBI investigation is underway and the four officers involved have been fired. But this happened only after national pressure.
According to TMZ, George Floyd was pinned to the ground by a cop's knee -- and ultimately killed -- he was cuffed by a different officer and seemed to be cooperating ... according to new surveillance footage.
A nearby restaurant, Dragon Wok, captured the initial moments of George's run-in with Minneapolis police on a camera set up outside. Based on the video, this started as a traffic stop of some sort, which ended with George being led away in cuffs.
Many prominent activist within the community have since spoken out against the egregious video.
"Truth always comes out," activist and journalist Shaun King said on Instagram. "George Floyd DID NOT resist arrest. The video makes it clear. The restaurant owner whose camera caught this moment also says George did not resist arrest. Even if he did, it doesn’t warrant anything like what happened, but now we understand that George was cooperating. Video from@cbsnews."
Transgender activist Ashlee Marie Preston called for people to 'stop consuming Black pain as a form of entertainment. It’s not enough to share pictures and videos of Black lives being crushed by the jaws of racial injustice. Year after year, life after life...the same outrage is being expressed by our non-black allies, but not many are doing the work to truly save Black lives. Stop consuming Black pain as a form of entertainment. Some folks pretend to be concerned about Black lives, but in reality—they’re just addicted to trauma porn. Some will ask us what they can do, but that’s also part of the work—doing the actual research. There is an abundance of think pieces, books by Black authors, Keynotes, and TED Talks at your disposal. We can give folks all the information in the world, but we can’t give them the desire to do the work."
Transgender activist Hope Giselle said in a video clip earlier this month, "that's got to change. So rest in peace to every Black man who has been gunned down wrongfully. Rest in peace to every Black man who couldn't breathe. Rest in peace to every Black boy who walked to the store for Skittles and an Arizona and didn't make it home." She goes on to say if your activism isn't intersectional 'it's trash.'
Stephen Jackson, a friend of George, had this to say about losing his friend, "twin couldn’t wait to tell me he moved to Minnesota to work and drive trucks. He knew he had to relocate to be his best self. His heart was in the right place. Rest Easy Bro we gonna hold it down yo voice. All we talked about was growing and kids. Love to all who have love for all."
Pose actress Indya Moore said this isn't a political opinion or side, it's reality. "Since ya'll hate when black people hate when the police kill us. Since I'm not particularly allowed to express any anti police sentiment around the regular anti black/indigenous, violence, abuse, murder, disrespect, dishonesty, criminalization, vilification, etc, evoked intentionally unto black people, because i am black, I will quote a white woman. I think about what white folks might snarl at me, roll their eyes, or go on in their minds about how reckless and careless I am for saying it first.. how some will abandon me and my work because I protest the inescapable harm my community experiences because we aren't white. Since Madonna said it, I know a many number of you will suddenly consider that this IS a real issue in a way you previously didn't because you think black folk desire to thrive is whining."
If you believe that intersectionality means you occasionally acknowledge cis Black women while ignoring the issues cis Black men and Black LGBTQ+ people face, then you are upholding this oppressive system. If you believe racism would go away if Black and Brown people stop talking about it, then you are upholding this oppressive system. If you believe racism ended when slavery and Jim Crow laws did, then you are upholding this oppressive system.
We encourage all of you reading this to take action. Please call DA Mike Freeman at 612-348-5550 and Mayor Jacob Frey at 612-673-2100 and implore them to file charges immediately. Firing isn't anywhere near enough. George deserves justice.