Fatal arrest of George Floyd and a demand for justice


Photo/ Twitter

In the midst of a pandemic, an arrest turned fatal has caused outrage across the nation.

Nina Johnson, Editor in Chief

Nina Johnson
Editor in Chief

On Monday, May 25, an unarmed man in Minneapolis named George Floyd was killed in custody by police after he was arrested for forgery: a nonviolent crime that officers responded to. Footage taken during the incident is now circling social media, where Floyd was held down and can be heard saying “I can’t breathe” and “don’t kill me”, before eventually losing consciousness.

The four police involved in the death have been terminated, officials said as of Tuesday night. The FBI is now involved in the investigation, stating that it will be focusing on “whether the Minneapolis Police Department officers involved willfully deprived the individual of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.”

When the investigation is closed, their findings will be presented to the Attorney’s office for possible violations of Minnesota statutes followed by federal charges against the men.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s remarks in a news conference Tuesday stated that the way in which Floyd’s head was pinned to the ground was against “department regulations” and “wrong on every level”. Many politicians and celebrities have spoken out about against the mistreatment, with hashtags #GeorgeFloyd and #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd trending globally.

Mourners and protesters have been gathered at Chicago Ave. and East 38th Street in South Minneapolis since early Tuesday morning, with social-distanced crowds of Minnesotans demanding justice stretching for blocks.

“Since we were at a protest regarding the police, there was a subtle fear that the police would show up and start hurting people because we were blatantly going against them. So when a group of protesters began revving motorcycle engines super loudly, people started running without question because they just heard a booming noise and their fight or flight kicked in,” Washburn High School freshman Maddie Barnhill said after attending the Tuesday protest.

“There were about 3 minutes where everyone thought they were going to be shot. It goes to show how people of color and people who are direct recipients of this hatred live with that fear in their everyday lives because people of authority have done nothing to stop this violence and hate,” Barnhill said.

Floyd’s death has caught warranted national and international attention, opening up the discussion further to question how incidences like this still occur, with the tragedy of George Floyd sharing a shocking resemblance to Eric Garner’s death in 2014. The demand for justice surrounding Floyd’s death and the fate of the officers involved is still in its early stages.