The Death of George Floyd Sparks Protests Across America


Chicago Tribune

Protesters march in the streets of Chicago to protest police brutality and racism in America.

Alekzander Leppert, Staff Writer

Following the death of George Floyd on May 25, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, protests and rioting have ensued across America.

Floyd, an African-American male, was killed by white police officer Derek Chauvin who arrested Floyd for a possible forgery of a $20 bill. Videos show that Chauvin left his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds as he was handcuffed and face-down on the street. The video also depicts other officers kneeling on his back.

An autopsy declared Floyd’s death a homicide as the cause of death was asphyxiation from sustained pressure, which is the deprivation of oxygen caused by force. The independent examiners stated Floyd was dead within four minutes after he was held to the ground.

Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder along with second-degree manslaughter. The three other officers on the scene were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. 

On May 26, protests broke out in Minneapolis. Some instances of rioting led to burnt down buildings and businesses, defaced cop cars, looted stores, and police violence. Protests also began in Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington DC, Austin, Beverly Hills, etc. over police brutality and racism. 

Some protests have escalated and resulted in injuries and death. In Indianapolis, Indiana one man was killed and three others were injured when a gunman shot at protesters. In Chicago, six people were shot and one was killed on Saturday during protests. Police have also been recorded using force, tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets against protesters.

Governor Tim Walz of Minnesota does not support the protests or riots in Minneapolis. “Let’s be very clear, the situation in Minneapolis is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd. It is about attacking civil society, instilling fear, and disrupting our great cities,” he said.

President Trump recently condemned the protests and suggested that violence be used against them. In a Tweet, he addressed the protesters as “thugs,” and criticized the mayor of Minneapolis. Trump said, “A total lack of leadership [in Minneapolis]. Either the very weak radical left mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the city under control or I will send in the national guard and get the job done right.”

On May 29, Chauvin, was arrested and brought into custody in Minneapolis. He faces charges that carry a combined maximum of a 35-year sentence.

As of June 1, around 4,000 protesters have been arrested across America.