On Monday, May 25th, 2020, 46-year-old George Floyd died after a MInneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground and pressed his knee into his neck, while Floyd pleaded for help and repeatedly said he could not breathe. The officers were responding to a “report of a counterfeit bill being passed” outside of a Minneapolis grocery store. A bystanders video showed an officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost eight minutes until he eventually became unresponsive. George Floyd was pronounced dead at the Hennepin County Medical Center following the encounter.
The four officers involved in the incident have since been fired. On Friday, Derek Chauvin, the former officer who pinned Floyd with his knee, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Since the death of George Floyd, protestors have gathered into the streets across the country in response to police brutality and racial injustice. Though the majority of the protests have been peaceful, some demonstrators have engaged in looting local businesses and damaging property. Protestors have been met with officers using tear gas, flash grenades, rubber bullets, and arrests. On Thursday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz declared a state of emergency and activated the state’s National Guard to “help provide security and restore safety.”
If you’re looking for ways to speak out against Floyd’s death, here are some things you can do:
- Donate to the Memorial Fund George Floyd’s family has set up.
- Support organizations working on the ground in Minneapolis.
Minnesota Freedom Fund: pays bail for low-income individuals
Black Visions Collective: works to organize black communities in Minnesota
Reclaim the Block: works to move money from the police department into other parts of the city that promote health and safety
North Star Health Collective provides health care services and resources to protestors
- Contact the Minneapolis Mayor and the Hennepin County attorney at 612-673-2110 and 612-348-5550. You can write to Mayor Jacob Frey here. or contact the Minneapolis police department at email@example.com or paste tinyurl.com/emailforfloyd// for a pre-written email template.
- Sign a petition to demand the police officers involved are charged.
- Sign a petition to directly send a message to County Attorney Michael Freeman, who has the power to arrest and charge the police offers involved.
- Expand your anti-racism work.
- Be mindful of what you share on social media. Photos and videos of protestors showing their faces and other identifying features can make it easier for them to be tracked and targeted.
- Continue to educate yourself and speak out against injustice. Read books, connect to your community, and seek opportunities to fight for justice.
R Planet stands with those affected and supports the movement of social and racial justice. We will be donating 10% of our profits to Black Visions Collective from 6/1-6/10.