George Floyd Case Developments

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Isha Raj, Journalist

The George Floyd case is something that almost everyone knows about, or as at least heard about. If you have not heard about it, George Floyd was an African American man that lived in Minneapolis, after moving from his hometown Houston, Texas several years ago. He worked as a bouncer, but was left jobless like many other people during Covid-19. He had a young, 6 year old child, who fell into the spotlight during all the protests.

 

On 25 of May, Mr. Floyd bought a pack of cigarettes from a grocery store called Cup Foods. The store clerk thought he passed a counterfeit 20 dollar bill. The clerk followed protocol and called 911. In the call made at 20:01, the clerk told the operator that he asked for the cigarettes back, but Floyd didn’t give it to him. The employee also said that Mr. Floyd seemed “drunk”. After walking up to the car Thomas Lane, one of the officers, took out his gun and told George Floyd to show his hand. Then Mr Floyd “actively resisted being handcuffed”. 

 

The police body cameras show that he was being cooperative in the beginning of the arrest, and apologized profusely after they approached his car. At around 20:14, Mr. Floyd “stiffened up, fell to the ground, and told the officers he was claustrophobic” according to the report. That’s when people started to film the situation. For exactly 7 minutes and 46 seconds, a white police officer Derek Chauvin, knelt on George Floyd’s neck while Mr. Floyd was pinned to the floor. The time was initially thought to be 8 minutes and 46 seconds, until Minnesota’s prosecutors corrected the mistake. The body cam revealed George Floyd said he couldn’t breathe more than 20 times.

 

Protests in Minneapolis started on May 26, as the video of the arrest started trending. In just one days time, the protests spread across the country. Millions of people took to the streets to fight for George Floyd. Soon the four officers involved in the arrest were fired. On May 29 former police officer Derek Chauvin, got charged with murder and manslaughter. Both these charges share a combined 35-year sentence. The judge recently declined the request to move the location of the trail, after defense attorneys argued that the protests would affect the jury. The defense attorneys also argued that the 4 men should have separate trials, as each officer pointed the blame on each other. But Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill rejected that too, saying that trying the officers together would “ensure that the jury understands … all of the evidence and the complete picture of Floyd’s death.”

 

While it has been more than 5 months since this tragic incident happened. The officers have not been prosecuted, but there is progress. People from all around the world are fighting for George Floyd and his daughter. The case is still in its early stages, but we can hope that justice will be served.

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