Video footage shows Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee onto the back of Floyd’s neck, pinning him down and constraining his airway for approximately nine minutes, while Floyd begged for his life. It is alleged that Floyd ultimately died of asphyxiation. The four Minneapolis police officers involved were fired but not charged with a crime, while Chauvin was arrested and charged with 3rd-degree murder. Young America felt enough was enough. Protests erupted throughout the country as George Floyd’s senseless murder came on the heels of Amaud Abrey’s recent killing.
While protests for Black lives are nothing new, and African Americans mostly fight their battles for justice alone, this cause has united people from all walks of life. This new America seems fed up with a current system that sweeps the ugly truth about its bigotry under the rug. 2020 ushers in a new era, where all Americans support true equality for Black people … for all people. The protestors bring a new-found hope and pride in America. They are conscious, defiant and unafraid.
The following are community comments, either from the event or from social media:
“There is a lot of sarcasm about the Millennials but we are the leaders of this revolution.” – Protestor
“You see them shooting at us? I’m here supporting the cause for everybody, man. You know, if you have Black friends or family members, this is your battle too. I’m not out here terrorizing anything … I’m out here for you, to make a difference. And if you’re silent at home, you should be here, right now. You should be supporting us, right now. We are tired of this! When Colin Kaepernick took a knee, no one listened to him but now you want to listen; now we have your attention. And now that we have your attention, do something about it, because we want to live with you; we want to love you.” – Protestor
“Y’all see this? I don’t know how to feel. They killed George Floyd when we said he couldn’t breathe! How am I supposed to feel?” – Protestor
“They out here shooting us!” I got shot; my [wrist] is broken but rubber bullets don’t stop nothin! The system is not broken; it’s working just as it was designed.” – Protestor
“We have no peace, no justice for Amaud Armory, j for Brianna Taylor. We’re not giving up! We aren’t letting up until you put those four officers in jail. I wish it didn’t have to be this way but from what we’ve seen statistic wise, this is the only way they are going to listen to us. And they still might not listen but no justice, no peace.” – Protestor
“I’m tired of this; we are past the [sync] edge! Why did I get shot today; I have no weapons on me? – Protestor
“They tried to shoot us with pellet guns, trying to shoot my car too! We ain’t taking this no more! That’s it! … That’s out!” – Protestor
“I’m here for you and everybody else who feels this is a problem! What the (obscenity) does racism mean? Racism for what?! There is just no place for it.” – Protestor
“George Floyd’s Dying words – “Let Me Stand Up.” – Irene R.
“Fight the power!” – Mike F.
“White people don’t have the right to decide how Black folks protest and express pain and anger!” – Karen M.
“Four simple arrests may have prevented all this mess.” – Tony G
“If there was justice in the US for people of color this would not be happening. Why can’t people understand equal justice under the law means everyone?” – Theresa G.
“Call it all u want, but these [looters] are not protesting; it’s called rioting. They are thieves, burning, destroying property. My skin might be brown but I am not one of them.” – Sal S.E.
“You have a legitimate right to protest injustice and criminal behavior of the police.” – Ted E.
“The more things change the more they remain the same. No justice, no peace! Stand down slave patrol.” – Cheryl B.
“Listen to this younger generation!” – Michelle T.
“Black people do matter and we are tired of being murdered and prosecuted without a judge or lawyer. We get killed on the spot. Why is that, just because I was dark? But White folks get away with murder they just get a slap on the wrist and keep on ticking. You know, I don’t understand all of this but God knows and he’s watching and he’s going to take care of all this. – Teresa B.
“This is crazy; Black lives do matter. We need the police to stop killing us for no reason.” – Thalia age, 13
“I think, no justice, no peace. I think Black lives do matter but if we keep protesting with no action, it isn’t going to change a thing. So, I think violence should be treated with violence. If they kill us, we kill them.” – Isaiah age, 15
I brought my grandbabies are here to join the cause, to help stop police violence against African Americans, and people of color. I drove from Lancaster, which is 60 miles away, to show my support not only for police brutality but the Floyd family as well. – Danita G.
“I’m here to support the cause. However, many bodies are needed, there is power in numbers.” – Protestor
“As soon as a Black man showed up with a camera, they started shooting [rubber bullets] at him. That’s why we are here. That’s why Colin Kaepernick took a knee and that’s why our people need to stand up and fight against injustices like this. It’s no point in being afraid; I’m willing to die for my people. I’m afraid of COVID-19, not the police.” – Protestor
“The system is rigged. George Floyd, my spirit is with you, man.” – Protestors
“I’m here because what they did to George Floyd was ridiculous, man. African American women and men have been wrongly killed and justified by the police. So, we’re out here to make out voices heard. We are here to show we are serious and aren’t going to take this anymore. [Getting to this point] It didn’t take much; all it took was having to wake up the millennials because we were asleep but now, we’re awake and we are here. We need to fight back; we have to! These entertainers, artists, and actors, they need to speak up; they have a bigger platform than I have. They have to speak up.” – Cassiphias G.