On Monday, May 25th, 2020, a video was taken by observing bystanders as police arrested African American man, George Floyd, age 46. The video which has since gone viral shows officers kneeling on Floyd’s neck, while in handcuffs, against the pavement. George Floyd was put into handcuffs after a call reporting an alleged forgery. Police confronted Floyd after matching him to the description of the alleged suspect. Afterward, the responding police claimed he was resisting arrest. However, the video shows Floyd helpless on the ground under the weight of several officers, including Officer Derek Chauvin. He is seen on the video to have his knee pinning Floyd’s neck. Floyd later, unfortunately, died at the hospital.
Days Following Floyd’s Death
Swiftly overnight, the video circulated the globe sparking outrage among people. By Tuesday, May 26th, 2020, the officers involved in the death of George Floyd had gotten removed from their duty. However, at the time, there were no charges filed against any of the officers, including Derek Chauvin. By the end of the night, mass protests were being held across the city as frustration grew. On Wednesday, protests and riots were in full swing, and the movement had gotten traction across many towns over the country. While many were peaceful, some protesters took it among themselves to burn local buildings.
Tensions Reach A Boiling Point
On Thursday, after a press release from Hennepin County attorney Micheal Freemen stated, “There is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge.” protesters reached their limits. Protesters stormed outside the Minneapolis 3rd precinct building waving black lives matter and justice for George Floyd signs. Police fired teargas and mace at protesters, only fueling anger. Eventually, a strategic decision to evacuate the 3rd precinct and remove police presence from the situation led to protesters overrunning the station. Shortly after, the precinct was on fire, as well as many surrounding buildings. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey proceeded to call in Minnesota national guard to send troops to attempt and restore peace.
Trumps Threatening Tweet
Trump tweeted as tensions were still boiling, “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!” This statement, of course, only fueled tensions more as African Americans, already fearing for their lives, took it as a threat to their lives. Trump later tried to repair his statement by saying, “It means when there’s looting, people get shot and die.”
Derek Chauvin Is Charged With 3rd-Degree Murder and Manslaughter
Friday afternoon, the county prosecutor announced a 3rd-degree murder and manslaughter charge against Derek Chauvin. It is known that he is in custody at the time. Officials state that charges against the other officers at the scene are likely to follow as well as potential additional charges against Derek Chauvin. Following these announcements later in the evening, Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis signed a curfew lasting from Friday 8 pm to Saturday at 6 am. Protests have gathered across the nation from Denver to New York City where officers are attempting to prevent riots from occurring such as in Minneapolis.
At the current moment, the situation is still unfolding and monitored for updates. Please consider subscribing to hear more reporting from OurSocietyToday.com