George Floyd passed away on May 25, 2020, after a police officer pinned him down.
The brutal killing of George Floyd broke out a protest movement like no other in the history of the modern United States of America. Though the issues pertaining to race and police brutality have been problems for centuries, the death of Floyd re-ignited the public's spirit to fight against social justice and systemic bias. On May 23, 2021, the family of George Floyd, along with others who lost their family members to police brutality, gathered together in Minneapolis for a march to mark the one-year anniversary of Floyd's death.
Rally Held in Minneapolis to Mark the One-Year Anniversary of George Floyd’s Death https://t.co/B0b9VyGSGg pic.twitter.com/BS4E26bB59— The Root (@TheRoot) May 24, 2021
According to NPR, hundreds of people, including activists and citizens, joined the rally which was held outside the courthouse in downtown Minneapolis. They held placards with pictures of Floyd and other Black citizens, who were killed as a result of police brutality and chanted, "No justice, no peace!" and "Say his name!"
Speaking at the event, Floyd's sister Bridgett addressed the crowd and stated, "It has been a long year. It has been a painful year. It has been very frustrating for me and my family for our lives to change in the blink of an eye — I still don't know why." Other activists that spoke at the event demanded equality in the criminal justice system. "We want something coming out of Washington. We want something that will change federal law. There's been an adjournment on justice for too long," said civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton, according to Reuters.
“It has been very frustrating for me and my family for our lives to change in the blink of an eye — I still don’t know why.” https://t.co/h34wvaaZkL— Complex (@Complex) May 24, 2021
He added, "George Floyd should not go down in history as someone with a knee on his neck, but as someone who broke the chain of police brutality and illegality."
May 25, 2021 marks one year since Floyd gasped for air under the knee of Derek Chauvin, a white former Minneapolis policeman. His last words "I can't breathe," broke the hearts of thousands and became their boost to fight against the system that failed to treat everyone equally with respect.
Thousands gather in Minneapolis for rally that's one of several events planned across US to mark the one-year anniversary of #GeorgeFloyd death https://t.co/SwPYtyzWz7— TRT World (@trtworld) May 24, 2021
Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in the case of Floyd's death last month. Chauvin and three other officers were held responsible for the incident. They faced federal charges soon after the death of Floyd.
Outside of Minneapolis, New Yorkers also organized a gathering in memory of Floyd. Floyd's brother, Terrence, attended the rally held in Brooklyn along with other prominent activists. "If you keep my brother's name ringing, you're going to keep everybody else's name ringing. Breonna Taylor, Sean Bell, Ahmaud Arbery, you could go through the whole list. There's a lot of them," reminded Terrence.
George Floyd's family holds rally, march in brother's memoryhttps://t.co/VhqF3ZQTYg pic.twitter.com/ZAZGRXo1Dv— CP24 (@CP24) May 23, 2021
Additionally, the George Floyd Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit founded by Floyd's siblings to fight racial inequality in his birthplace, Fayetteville, North Carolina, will organize a series of events during the week in honor of him.
Executive director Jacari Harris stated that the non-profit received donations from several organizations such as the Minneapolis Foundation, Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, and athletic shoe and apparel retailer Finish Line, etc. Harris also mentioned that the average donation to the organization was $47.
“It has been a long year. It has been a painful year.” Members of George Floyd’s family, and others who lost loved ones to police encounters, joined activists and citizens in Minneapolis for a march as the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death approaches.https://t.co/xaZFGfaaLe— The Associated Press (@AP) May 24, 2021
Besides fighting against racism and inequality in the justice system, the foundation is also determined to spread its wings and help the community in Fayetteville. Harris stated that the organization funded an initiative to battle homelessness in the area. They also started a scholarship program for law school students and an internship program at Texas A&M University, where Floyd studied.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by (L) Brandon Bell And (R) Stephen Maturen