Black Lives Matter

Protesters+rally+for+BLM+in+the+wake+of+George+Floyd%27s+murder.+photo+by+Clay+Banks

Protesters rally for BLM in the wake of George Floyd's murder. photo by Clay Banks

Julia Marburger, Staff Writer

The life of George Floyd, an African-American athlete and father was taken on the evening of May 25, by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and three other arresting officers.

A 911 call came in with the caller saying Floyd was suspected of passing a counterfeit $20 bill. Shortly after the call, at around 8:08, two police officers arrived. Floyd was with two other people in a car parked around the corner. After approaching the car, officer Thomas Lane pulled out his gun and ordered Floyd to show his hands. Lane put his hands on Floyd, and pulled him out of the car. Once handcuffed, Floyd became compliant while Lane explained he was being arrested for “passing counterfeit currency.”

It was when officers tried to put Floyd in their squad car that a struggle ensued. At around 8:14, according to officers report, Floyd “stiffened up, fell to the ground, and told the officers he was claustrophobic.” Chauvin then arrived at the scene.  Chauvin and other officers were involved in further attempt to put Floyd in the police car. Chauvin pulled Floyd out of the passenger side, causing him to fall to the ground still in restraint. This caused witnesses to begin to film Floyd who had appeared to be in a distressed state. These moments, captured on multiple mobile phones and shared widely on social media, would prove to be Floyd’s final moments.

Floyd was restrained by officers, while officer Chauvin placed his left knee on his neck.”I can’t breathe,” Floyd said repeatedly, pleading for his mother and begging “please, please, please.” For eight minutes and 46 seconds, Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck. About six minutes into that period, Floyd became non-responsive.

In videos of the incident, this was when Floyd fell silent, as bystanders urged the officers to check his pulse. Kueng did just that, checking Floyd’s right wrist, but “couldn’t find one.” Yet, the officers did not move. At 8:27, Chauvin removed his knee from Floyd’s neck. Floyd was rolled on to a gurney and taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center in an ambulance. He was pronounced dead an hour later.

Floyd was one of many lives lost through police brutality. The Black Lives Matter movements goal is to raise awareness and put a spotlight on racism in America as well as police brutality. The movement is not in any way used to discriminate any other race or minority but simply to raise attention to the African American lives we have lost solely because they are black.

African Americans should not have to leave in fear as they go about their daily lives. They should be able to go jogging without being shot dead such as Amaud Arbery. To be able to relax in the comfort of their own home without being murdered in cold blood like Bothem Jean, and Atatiana Jefferson. To ask for help after being in a car crash and not be scared to end up like Renisha McBride. To have a cell phone and not be accused of being  thug and shot dead in the backyard of their own grandmothers house such as Stephon Clark. To leave a party to get safety and not be murdered by the hands of police like 15 year old Jordan Edwards To play loud music at a gas station like Jordan Davis and not be murdered.

Black people should be able to go through their lives day by day without the anxiety that racism and police brutality causes. This is reality. Enough is enough. Say their names, help and provide a shield to those in need. It was the police that turned the peaceful protests violent, It is the police that refuse to hear our voices.

Martin Luther King Jr argued that worsening economic and social conditions that black Americans experience must be condemned as equally as riots. It is here he invokes the thought;”A riot is the language of the unheard.” Hear their voices, they will not be silenced anymore. Help be  part of change, support the movement. Text “FLOYD” to 55156 to sign a petition and demand justice for George Floyd. Donate to support campaigns at blacklivesmatter.org , or check out the BLM store at https://blacklivesmatter.shop.capthat.com/store/ to show support and fund initiatives.