A candlelight vigil to honor the memory of George Floyd at the intersection where he died was among the memories planned for Wednesday since the black man was murdered by police officers in Minneapolis.
Activists organized the vigil, along with a gathering at the governor’s residence in St. Petersburg. Paul, on the occasion of the two-year anniversary of Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, which sparked protests in Minneapolis and around the world where videos of bystanders quickly spread.
The intersection of 38th and Chicago streets became informally known as George Floyd Square following his death, with a large sculpture of a clenched fist as the centerpiece of a monument. The city planned to unveil a street sign officially calling the corner George Perry Floyd Square just before the vigil, with Floyd’s brother Terrence among those in attendance.
“Today marks two years since George Floyd was assassinated by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement. “Every day since, we have remembered George Floyd’s life and legacy as a friend, father, brother and loved one. His name has been heard in all parts of our world.”
Colten Muth, 32, visited the intersection on Wednesday to “be sure I’m honoring because his sacrifice had a profound effect on the world.
Muth, who describes himself as a mixed race, recalled watching a video of Floyd’s moment from his home in the Minneapolis suburb of Burnsville. He said it particularly bothered him because he grew up just blocks from the corner and often walked to the grocery store as a kid.
“It could have been me with my face down the sidewalk,” he said. “It shook me to the point that even where I lived, I was afraid to walk around my own neighborhood.
Muth called Chauvin’s conviction a “first step” toward holding police accountable, but said the city had done nothing to improve law enforcement and the circumstances that led to Floyd’s murder. And he said that the lack of reform of the federal police after two years was disappointing.
On Wednesday in Washington, as Congress debated how to deal with racism and excessive force, President Joe Biden signed a law enforcement order on the occasion of his second birthday.
Other incidents in Minneapolis include a Thursday gathering of the families of loved ones who have died in contact with police and a fundraiser on Friday that aims to raise money to preserve the sacrifices left by protesters and mourners at the intersection where Floyd was killed.
There was also a planned all-day festival and concert at the intersection on Saturday.
Floyd, 46, died after Chauvin, a white man, tied his knee to Floyd’s neck in the 9th minute when Floyd was handcuffed and begged that he could not breathe.
Chauvin is serving a 22-and-a-half-year sentence after being convicted of state murder and manslaughter last year. The former boss also confessed to violating Floyd’s civil rights in a federal case, where he is currently serving a sentence of between 20 and 25 years.
Former officials of J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao are due to stand trial on charges in June. Thomas Lane pleaded guilty last week to negligent manslaughter for his role in Floyd’s murder, months after all three former police officers were convicted in February of federal charges of intentionally violating Floyd’s rights.
Vigil, rally organized for the 2nd anniversary of the Floyd murder
Source link Vigil, rally organized for the 2nd anniversary of the Floyd murder