2020 May 25 – George Floyd killed by ‘white’ police officer during arrest in Minneapolis, USA

George Floyd flowers shop Minneapolis USA Black Lives Matter

George Floyd, a 46-year-old ‘black’ US citizen, was killed by ‘white’ police officer Derek Chauvin (44) during an arrest in Minneapolis on 25 May 2020. He was handcuffed and lying face down on the ground. Although he repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe and eventually lay motionless, Chauvin knelt on his neck – according to video footage for over eight minutes (see article of the New York Times; checked in January 2024).

On the basis of three autopsies, the experts came to the conclusion that it was a homicide offence.

Smartphone video footage of the arrest and Floyd’s last words “I can’t breathe” went viral on social media. The following day, Minneapolis police released Chauvin and three colleagues who had assisted him in the arrest. A nationwide wave of sometimes violent protests against racist police brutality followed.

Under the banner of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, sympathy rallies were held in many countries around the world, with people taking a knee for several minutes. In Namibia, pupils from the German public school DHPS organised such an action, in which the principal also took part (see report of Eagle FM).

In June 2021, police officer Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter and sentenced to more than 22 years in prison. His colleagues were sentenced to prison terms of three to more than four years. Floyd’s family had also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Minneapolis. In March 2021, Minneapolis agreed to a US$27 million settlement.


George Floyd flowers shop Minneapolis USA Black Lives Matter

Flowers in front of the shop in Minneapolis near the spot where George Floyd was killed by a ‘white’ police officer. Photo (5 June 2020): Vasanth Rajkumar, Wikipedia

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