A timeline of the George Floyd and anti-police brutality protests

Protests over the US police killings of Black people have spread across the US, and worldwide.

The police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25 sparked protests across the United States and worldwide.

A video of the incident shows Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as the 46-year-old pleaded: “I can’t breathe.” 

Following the killing, protests erupted in at least 140 US cities, with thousands of people taking to the streets against police violence. While protests have remained largely peaceful, looting, vandalism and fires have taken place in some cities. The police have also used tear gas and other non-lethal projectiles on protesters, including on peaceful gatherings.  

National Guard troops were activiated in more than 20 states, and several cities imposed temporary curfews.

Here is a timeline of the protests:

May 25: George Floyd is killed  

George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, dies after a white Minneapolis police officer pins him to the ground with his knee on Floyd’s neck.

A video of the incident is widely shared on social media.

“Please, please, I cannot breathe,” Floyd can be heard in the video as Chauvin continues to kneel on his neck. 

May 26: Protests start

Minneapolis residents and community leaders express outrage over the incident with many drawing comparisons to Eric Garner, an unarmed Black man who died in 2014 after being placed in a chokehold by New York City police and pleading: “I can’t breathe.” 

Hundreds in the city protest against Floyd’s killing and demand the four officers involved be held accountable.

The four officers involved in Floyd’s deadly arrest are fired.

May 27: Protests spread across US 

Protests against police brutality spread to other US cities, including Memphis, Tennessee, Los Angeles, California, and Louisville, Kentucky, where 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was killed by white police months earlier. 

Looting and fires are seen in some parts of Minneapolis and other cities. 

June 4: Minneapolis bids farewell to Floyd

Hundreds gather in Minneapolis for the first of several planned memorials for Floyd. 

“George Floyd’s story has been the story of Black folks. Because ever since 401 years ago, the reason we could never be who we wanted and dreamed to be is you kept your knee on our neck,” said Reverend Al Sharpton, who eulogised Floyd. “It’s time for us to stand up in George’s name and say, ‘Get your knee off our necks!'”

Those in attendance and hundreds who gathered outside the event space held an 08:46-minute moment of silence at the end of the service. 

June 8: Thousands pay respects to Floyd 

Thousands of mourners attend a public viewing of Floyd in Houston, Texas, where Floyd grew up. 

They line up for hours to file through the doors of The Fountain of Praise church, which Floyd attended for most of his life, and past the open gold-coloured coffin where he lay dressed in a brown suit. 

Meanwhile, Democrats propose legislation to reform police practices but stop short of endorsing activists’ calls to “defund the police”.

June 9 – Funeral service for George Floyd

The funeral service for Floyd begins in Houston, Texas, with family members and invited dignitaries filing into The Fountain of Praise church to pay their respects. 

The funeral – broadcast live – is in part a celebration of Floyd’s life and in part a call to action to continue to demand the end of police brutality. 

June 10 – Floyd’s brother calls for police reforms

Floyd’s brother testifies at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on issues of racial profiling, police brutality and lost trust between police departments and the communities they serve.

“I’m tired. I’m tired of the pain I’m feeling now and I’m tired of the pain I feel every time another Black person is killed for no reason,” Philonise Floyd says during his testimony.

“Teach them what necessary force is,” he says. “Teach them that necessary force should be used rarely, and only when life is at risk.”

He also reminds the panel that police were called because his brother had allegedly used a counterfeit $20 bill.

Minneapolis police promise reforms, as the Minneapolis Police Department will withdraw from police union contract negotiations, Chief Medaria Arradondo says as he announces the first steps in what he said would be transformational reforms to the department.

June 11 – Top US general apologises for Trump photo op role; protests expected to continue

Army General Mark Milley, the US’s highest-ranking military officer, said he was wrong to have accompanied Trump on a walk to a church outside the White House, where he was photographed in his combat uniform with the presidential entourage.

“My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics,” Milley said. “As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from, and I sincerely hope we all can learn from it.”

Trump meanwhile attacks leaders in Washington state over actions taken by protesters there. Protesters and self-described anarchists have created what they are calling a “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone”, occupying several city blocks after police vacated a precinct there. 

Trump on Twitter demands Seattle’s mayor and Washington’s governor to “take back” the city. Mayor Jenny Durkan shoots back, tweeting: “Make us all safe. Go back to your bunker.”

Protesters in large US cities are expected to continue demanding an end to police brutality.

Source: Read Full Article