8 minutes and 46 seconds - How George Floyd's death inspired action and change

08 June 2020 - 07:12 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Protesters rally around a bonfire near the White House in Washington DC on May 31 during protests against George Floyd's death.
Protesters rally around a bonfire near the White House in Washington DC on May 31 during protests against George Floyd's death.
Image: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The death of George Floyd, the African American man who was murdered by a white police officer in Minneapolis on May 25, has been a catalyst for change in confronting racism and police brutality.

Derek Chauvin is facing second and third degree murder charges and a manslaughter charge. He pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds when he detained him during an arrest. Floyd was suspected of passing a counterfeit dollar bill at a local shop.

Here are three ways in which Floyd’s death has inspired change and action in the US and across the globe: 

Worldwide condemnation

When reports of Floyd's murder spread around the world, scores of people across all racial lines united in countries including SA, Germany and France in joining the thousands in the US who took to the streets to protest against racism and police brutality.

In SA, the ruling party launched an anti-racism and police brutality campaign titled "Black Friday". Although inspired by Floyd’s unjust death, the campaign also seeks to rebuke heavy-handedness by members of local security forces. 

In Paris, France, scores reflected on the striking similarities between Floyd’s death and that of Adama Traoré, who died at the hands of police in 2014. CNN reported that thousands called on French authorities to ensure justice for the country’s own "George Floyd".

Donations

Floyd's six-year-old daughter, Gianna, has a promising future. This as thousands of people from 125 countries raised the biggest amount ever through the Go Fund Me campaign.

As of Sunday, the total raised stood at $13,548,400. 

Floyd's brother, Philonise, told TMZ the money raised will be used to secure good education for Gianna, and to cover funeral expenses and court proceedings. The campaign was launched on May 27, two days after his death. 

Hip hop mogul Kanye West has established a 529 education plan for Gianna's college education. The funds for the plan are included in the $2m donation he made towards securing justice for other black victims of police brutality and racism, including 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, according to Entertainment Tonight.

Civil rights investigation

A civil rights investigation into the Minneapolis police department is under way, and new reforms now forbid officers in this department from using neck restraints and choke holds when conducting arrests.

During an emergency vote on Friday, the Minneapolis City Council approved an agreement with the Minnesota department of human rights, according to NPR.


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