Protests have erupted all over the US over the death of George Floyd. Cities are imposing curfews and states are activating National Guard members to calm down the demonstrators but they continue to express pain and anger with chants, signs and outbreaks of violence.
And while many questions, like what's going to happen to the police officers involved in the incident, are still unanswered, one thing is certain: the demands for justice and an end to police brutality against African Americans have united the entire country and people of all backgrounds are taking a knee together.
A Group Of Black People Protecting A Cop Who Got Separated From The Others
Based on accounts from witnesses, video footage, and official statements, here's what the public knows about Mr. Floyd's death so far.
Everything began with a report of a fake $20 bill. A report was made on the evening of the 25th of May, when Mr. Floyd bought a pack of cigarettes from a grocery store. The store employee thought the $20 bill Mr. Floyd paid with was counterfeit and reported it to police.
Mr. Floyd had been living in Minneapolis for several years after. He had recently been working as a bouncer but just like so many other Americans became unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr. Floyd was a regular at Cup Foods, the grocery store where he tried to buy the cigarettes. Mike Abumayyaleh, the owner of the store, told NBC that Mr. Floyd was a friendly face and a pleasant customer who never caused any trouble. But Mr. Abumayyaleh wasn't working that day.
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At around 20:08, two police officers arrived at the scene. Mr. Floyd was sitting in a car parked around the corner with two other people.
After approaching them, one of the officers, Thomas Lane, pulled out his gun and ordered Mr. Floyd to show his hands. In an account of the incident, prosecutors didn't explain why Mr. Lane thought it necessary to draw his gun.
According to the prosecutors, Mr. Lane "put his hands on Mr. Floyd, and pulled him out of the car". Then Mr. Floyd began actively resisting handcuffs.
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Once handcuffed, however, Mr. Floyd became compliant and Mr. Lane explained that he was being arrested for "passing counterfeit currency".
But when officers tried to put Mr. Floyd in their squad car, a struggle erupted.
At around 20:14, Mr. Floyd "stiffened up, fell to the ground, and told the officers he was claustrophobic", a transcript released by authorities explained.
Mr. Chauvin arrived at the scene. He and other officers were involved in further attempts to get Mr. Floyd in the police car.
It’s Not White vs. Black, Rich vs. Poor, Police vs. Citizens....it’s Everyone vs. Racists
At 20:19, Mr. Chauvin pulled Mr. Floyd out of the passenger side, causing the man to fall to the ground.
As he lay there, face down, still in handcuffs, witnesses started to film Mr. Floyd. He appeared to be in a distressed state. These moments, captured on multiple mobile phones and shared widely on social media, were Mr. Floyd's last.
As officers were restraining Mr. Floyd, Mr. Chauvin placed his left knee between his head and neck.
"I can't breathe," Mr. Floyd said repeated, pleading for his mother and begging "please, please, please".
Mr. Chauvin kept his knee on Mr. Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
My 6yr Old Daughter, She Sees Whats On The News, We Explained What Happened To George Floyd And She Was Mortified. Today She Made A Sign And Is Doing Her Own Peaceful Protest In Our Front Yard. I Am So Proud!
About 6 minutes into that period, Mr. Floyd became non-responsive. It was approximately then when Mr. Floyd fell silent and bystanders urged the officers to check his pulse.
One of the other officers, JA Kueng, did exactly that and said he "couldn't find one". But the officers did not move.
At 20:27, Mr. Chauvin removed his knee from Mr. Floyd's neck. He was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center in an ambulance and was pronounced dead around an hour later.
On Friday, Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman charged Mr. Chauvin with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. His bail has been set at $500,000.
Mr. Floyd's family and their attorney, Benjamin Crump, are upset that Mr. Chauvin wasn't charged with a more serious offense.
"We expected a first-degree murder charge. We want a first-degree murder charge. And we want to see the other officers arrested," Crump and the family said in a statement. "We call on authorities to revise the charges to reflect the true culpability of this officer."
If convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, Mr. Chauvin would be facing up to 25 years in prison on the first charge and up to 10 years on the second.
Mr. Freeman said charges against the other three officers are likely.
Portland, Oregon. Police Demonstrating And Trying To Show They Hear And Understand The Frustration.
A GoFundMe campaign dedicated to George Floyd has raised more than $7 million.
George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, organized the fundraiser, which is called the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund. According to the page's description, the funds will be used to cover funeral and burial expenses, grief counseling and lodging and travel for all court proceedings.
Now, after tens of thousands of people flooded the streets across the United States, after buildings were set on fire and businesses were looted, President Trump has criticized the unrest, and Attorney General William P. Barr warned people that contributing to the destruction could make them face federal charges. Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota said the people who are defying curfews and trying to instigate police were no longer protesting police brutality, but rather seeking to exploit Mr. Floyd’s death for their own political motives.
This Man Has Been Standing Alone In Our Town Square For The Past Few Days, Gods Bless His Courage
Helping Cleaning Up
Even The 'Church Of God' Community Are Standing By George
Santa Cruz Police Chief Taking A Knee With Peaceful Protesters During A Demonstration In Santa Cruz, Ca
Danish Sympathy March For George Floyd. ~10.000 People Marching Peacefully Through Copenhagen.
Spreading The Love
A Group Of People Forming A Human Barricade And Protecting The Store To Prevent People From Looting
Where Are The News Vans Now?
“The news crews focus on black people looting, but there are many of us here also trying to clean up. They don’t focus on that!” This is Marvin Applewhite. He is leading efforts to clean up after riots. I haven't heard any news organization show that there are people like him out there. He has a GoFundMe to help with supplies and food for the other volunteers