Murder of George Floyd
|Date||May 25, 2020|
|Time||c. 8:08–8:28 pm (CDT)|
|Location||Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.|
|Coordinates||44°56′03″N 93°15′45″W / 44.9343°N 93.2624°WCoordinates: 44°56′03″N 93°15′45″W / 44.9343°N 93.2624°W|
Location of Minneapolis, where the event took place, in Hennepin County and in the state of Minnesota.
Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, murdered George Floyd, a 46 year old African-American man, during an arrest on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The murder started the George Floyd protests against racism in the United States and in other countries.
George Floyd was a 46 year old African-American man from Houston, Texas. Chauvin, a police officer of the Minneapolis Police Department, killed Floyd while he was under arrest for using counterfeit cash. Chauvin put his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd was gasping for breath. Witnesses said Floyd told the officers, "I can't breathe" many times before he lost consciousness. This happened in the Powderhorn area of Minneapolis.
The event was recorded on many mobile phones. Four officers involved were fired the next day. The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced a federal civil rights investigation into the incident. It had an impact on law enforcement.
In late May, after days of protests, the officer who killed Floyd, Derek Chauvin, was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The charge was later changed to second-degree murder. The three other officers were charged on June 3 with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, meaning they are charged with helping Chauvin kill Floyd.
Chauvin's trial began on March 9, 2021. On April 20, 2021, a jury found Chauvin guilty. On June 25, Chauvin was given a sentence of 22 years and six months in prison.
People involved[change | change source]
George Floyd[change | change source]
George Floyd was a 46-year-old African-American man from Houston, Texas. He was a rapper who worked with the Houston-based hip hop group Screwed Up Click and freestyled under the alias "Big Floyd". Floyd moved to Minnesota around 2014. At the time of his death, Floyd had recently lost his job due to Minnesota's stay-at-home order during the COVID-19 pandemic. Floyd was the father of two daughters, aged 6 and 22.
Police officers[change | change source]
- Derek Michael Chauvin, 44 years old, had been an officer in the Minneapolis Police Department since around 2001. Chauvin had 18 complaints on his official record, two of which ended in punishments. He had been involved in three police shootings, one of which killed at least one person. Floyd and Chauvin both worked as security guards at a nightclub for Latin music - El Nuevo Rodeo.
- Three other officers who helped hold down Floyd were Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao.
Event[change | change source]
Shortly after 8:00 p.m. on May 25, Memorial Day, Minneapolis Police Department officers responded to a "forgery in progress" on Chicago Avenue South in the Powderhorn neighborhood of Minneapolis. Floyd "tried to use forged documents at a nearby deli." According to a co-owner of Cup Foods, Floyd attempted to use a $20 bill that a staff member identified as counterfeit. According to police, Floyd was in a nearby car and "appeared to be drunk."
According to the Minneapolis police, officers "were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress," and called for an ambulance. No weapons were used in the arrest, according to a statement from the Minneapolis police.
According to the Minneapolis Fire Department, paramedics moved Floyd from the location and were doing CPR and other lifesaving measures on an "unresponsive, pulseless male." Floyd was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Floyd was buried in Houston, Texas on June 9.
Autopsies[change | change source]
George Floyd's body was examined more than once, and the experts said different things about how he died.
On June 1, the Hennepin County medical examiner released a report. This report said that Floyd died because of homicide, which means killing, but does not mean that anybody is guilty of murder. The report also said that Floyd had recently used methamphetamine and had fentanyl intoxication. Prosecutors said that the Hennepin County medical examiner did not think Floyd died from lack of air. Prosecutors said they thought Floyd must have had heart disease or taken alcohol or drugs and that the police officers' actions would not have been enough to kill him by themselves. On June 3, they said Floyd had tested positive for COVID-19 in April, but they did not say this helped cause his death.
George Floyd's family hired Dr. Allecia M. Wilson of the University of Michigan and Dr. Michael Baden, who used to be a medical examiner for New York City, to examine Floyd's body and figure out how he died. They said that Floyd died from lack of air because the heavy weight of the officers on his back kept him from breathing, in addition to the knee on his neck. Dr. Baden said, "The autopsy shows that Mr. Floyd had no underlying medical problem that caused or contributed to his death. This is confirmed by information provided to Dr. Wilson and myself by the family." They also called his death a homicide.
Trials[change | change source]
On May 29, 2020, Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. On June 3, Chauvin was also charged with second-degree murder, a more serious crime. Chauvin was scheduled for arraignment, to appear in court, on June 8. In October, a judge took away the third-degree murder charge. In March 2021, Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder again.
J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao were charged with aiding and abetting (helping) second-degree murder, and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. Kueng, Lane, and Thao each paid bail money and were released from jail by July. To be released on bail means that the suspect gives some money or a deed to property to the court and promises not to run away. If the suspect appears at the trial, the money or deed is returned. If the suspect runs away, the court keeps it. Lane was released on June 10, Kueng on June 19, and Thao on July 4.
At a pre-trial hearing during the last week in June, Minneapolis Judge Peter Cahill told lawyers and other officials to stop making public statements about the trial. He said if they did not stop, he would order the trial to take place somewhere other than Minneapolis. He also said, if they continued talking, he would issue a gag order, meaning they could be punished if they continued talking.
In January 2021, Judge Cahill decided that there would be two trials. The trial for Derek Chauvin would begin on March 8, 2021. The trial for Kueng, Lane, and Thao would begin on August 23, 2021.
Chauvin's trial began on March 8, 2021. On March 9, the judge and attorneys began to select the jury. Six of the jurors were white, four were black, and two were multiracial. The oldest juror was in her sixties. The trial was broadcasted on video. The court did not show pictures of the jury, but did broadcast their voices when talking.
On April 20, 2021, a jury found Chauvin guilty of three crimes: second-degree unintentional murder of someone while committing a big crime, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. The jurors had talked to each other for ten hours in two pieces, on Monday and Tuesday. The judge is scheduled to give him his sentence eight weeks later. The largest penalty the judge could give Chauvin is 40 years in prison but most people who commit these crimes spend 10-15 years in prison. That means the jury decided that Chauvin might not have meant to kill Floyd but did mean to assault him and that Chauvin knew that he was doing something dangerous that could kill Floyd.
On Friday, June 25, Judge Petera A. Cahill sentenced Chauvin to 22.5 years in prison.
Chauvin tax trial[change | change source]
On July 22, 2020, Derek Chauvin and his wife, Kellie Chauvin, were charged with several different kinds of tax evasion. They had not paid the correct sales tax or income tax for six years. Kellie Chauvin began the divorce process in May 2020, but legally she is still responsible for tax evasion during her marriage.
Aftermath[change | change source]
Beginning on May 26 and 27, there were protests near the place where Floyd died. The protests started out peacefully, but some parts became violent later, with people attacking a police precinct and local businesses. The protests on May 28 included looting and property set on fire. On May 28, hundreds of people marched to the center of Minneapolis holding signs saying "I can't breathe" and "Fuck Donald Trump." The city of Minneapolis instituted an 8:00 p.m. curfew, meaning no one was meant to be on the street after that time.
There were sister protests in Oakland, New York, Chicago, Denver, and other parts of the United States. Over 500 people were arrested at one sister protest in Los Angeles. Parts of the Los Angeles protest were peaceful and parts were violent. There were also protests outside the United States, in London, Toronto, Berlin and other places. Some of these international protesters said they wanted to support George Floyd but also notice the racist actions by police in their own countries.
On the morning of May 28, white Minneapolis police officers arrested Omar Jimenez, a reporter for CNN, and his crew while they were filming the protests. Jiminez is black. Jiminez told the officers that he and his crew were journalists and offered to move further away, but the officers arrested them anyway. They were released later that day. The governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz, apologized to CNN, and said publicly that Jiminez and his crew had only been doing their jobs and acting within their rights. A white CNN reporter who had been working a block away from Jiminez noted that he had not been bothered by the police, only asked who he was.
Protests continued into Friday, May 29, with protesters approaching the White House in Washington, D.C. and pulling away temporary fences. Some of the protesters threw bricks at the officers, which included United States Secret Service and United States Park Police.
During the protests, people donated large amounts of money to black-led political groups, especially bail funds.
In June, George Floyd's brother, Philonese Floyd, asked the United Nations Human Rights Commission to make a team to study the killing of black people by the American police.
Reaction from Governor Tim Walz[change | change source]
On Thursday May 28, Governor Tim Walz called for change: "It is time to rebuild. Rebuild the city, rebuild our justice system, and rebuild the relationship between law enforcement and those they're charged to protect. George Floyd's death should lead to justice and systemic change, not more death and destruction."
After the arrest of CNN reporter Omar Jiminez, Walz apologized to CNN, saying "I take full responsibility."
Walz also told the National Guard to be ready to come to the twin cities if they were needed and put the city under an 8:00 p.m. curfew. He said he thought the worst looters were probably outsiders who came from the city to hide in the crowds and cause problems.
Reaction from President Donald Trump[change | change source]
President Donald Trump said on Twitter that he had asked the FBI do an investigation, adding, "My heart goes out to George's family and friends. Justice will be served!" Trump also called Floyd's death as "Sad and Tragic."
Later, President Donald Trump called the protesters of the killing "thugs" and said "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." Twitter hid the post because it broke their rules about presenting violence as good. On May 30, Trump complimented the Secret Service agents who had kept the protesters away from the White House, saying the Service had "vicious dogs and the most ominous weapons." He also posted on Twitter suggesting that his supporters stage a counter-protest: "Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???" "MAGA" is an acronym for the Trump slogan "Make America Great Again."
Reaction from President Joe Biden[change | change source]
Joe Biden was not president in 2020 when Floyd was killed but he was president in 2021 during the trial of Derek Chauvin. In April 2021, he said the guilty verdict was a "giant step forward in the march toward justice in America," but "much too rare." Before he became President, Biden had promised to make a police commission for the whole country during his first 100 days as president, but he had not done so as of April 2021.
Other people's reactions[change | change source]
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowswer would write, also on Twitter: "While [Trump] hides behind his fence afraid/alone, I stand w/ people peacefully exercising their First Amendment Right after the murder of #GeorgeFloyd & hundreds of years of institutional racism," she wrote. "There are no vicious dogs & ominous weapons. There is just a scared man."
Former Florida congressman Carlos Cubelo, a Republican, said, "The president seems more out-of-touch and detached from the difficult reality the country is living than ever before."
Minneapolis police department civil rights investigation[change | change source]
On June 2, after days of protests, Governor Walz announced the Minnesota Department of Human Rights would investigate the Minneapolis police department to see if the police in general were mistreating people of color. The Minneapolis City Council agreed, saying, "We urge the state to use its full weight to hold the Minneapolis Police Department accountable for any and all abuses of power and harms to our community and stand ready to aid in this process as full partners."
City of Minneapolis[change | change source]
On June 5, Minneapolis announced a new rule saying the police were not allowed to use chokeholds on people. 
State of Minnesota[change | change source]
The Minnesota state legislature attempted to write a new law that would redesign all police departments, but the Democrats wanted large changes to policing and the Republicans wanted small changes, and they could not agree in time for any new bill to become law.
Related pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- ↑ "Timeline: Death of George Floyd, reactions and protests". KMSP-TV. May 27, 2020.
- ↑ "Ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin charged with murder, manslaughter in George Floyd's death". May 30, 2020.
- ↑ McGreal, Chris; Beckett, Lois; Laughland, Oliver; Ajasa, Amudalat (21 April 2021). "Derek Chauvin found guilty of murder of George Floyd". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 "'This is the right call': Officers involved in fatal Minneapolis incident fired, mayor says". KSTP-TV. May 26, 2020. Archived from the original on May 27, 2020. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
- ↑ "'Completely And Utterly Messed Up': Video Of Fatal Arrest Shows MPD Officer Kneeling On Man's Neck For At Least 7 Minutes". KSTP-TV. May 26, 2020. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
- ↑ "FBI, BCA investigating in-custody death of man in south Minneapolis". The Star Tribune. May 26, 2020. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 "Former MPD Officer Derek Chauvin In Custody, Charged With Murder In George Floyd's Death". CBS Minnesota. May 29, 2020. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Colin Dwyer (May 29, 2020). "George Floyd's Arresting Officer Charged With 3rd-Degree Murder, Manslaughter". NPR. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Tucker Higgins; Dan Mangan (June 3, 2020). "3 more cops charged in George Floyd death, other officer's murder charge upgraded". CNBC. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
- ↑ Barrett, Joe (2021-03-09). "Derek Chauvin Trial Begins With Jury Selection". Wall Street Journal.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 "Derek Chauvin Trial Live Updates: Chauvin Found Guilty of Murdering George Floyd". New York Times. April 20, 2021.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Tim Arango (June 25, 2021). "Derek Chauvin is sentenced to 22 and a half years for murder of George Floyd". New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
- ↑ Coleman, Adam (May 27, 2020). "Yates football program mourns death of George Floyd, gifted athlete and 'ultimate people person'". Texas Sports Nation. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
- ↑ Curto, Justin (May 27, 2020). "George Floyd Was a Houston Rapper Who Worked With DJ Screw". Vulture. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
- ↑ Gill, Julian (May 27, 2020). "In Houston, friends and family mourn 'gentle giant' George Floyd amid calls for murder charges for cops". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
- ↑ Richmond, Todd (May 28, 2020). "George Floyd had started a new life in Minnesota before he was killed by police". Boston Globe. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
- ↑ Palladino, Christina (May 28, 2020). "Who was George Floyd? Family, friends, coworkers remember 'loving spirit'". FOX 9. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
- ↑ Ellis, Nicquel Terry; Davis, Tyler J. "George Floyd remembered as 'gentle giant' as family calls his death 'murder'". USA Today. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
- ↑ Mannix, Andy (May 26, 2020). "What we know about Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao, two of the officers caught on tape in the death of George Floyd". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on May 27, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- ↑ Barrett, Erin Ailworth, Ben Kesling, Sadie Gurman and Joe (May 28, 2020). "Justice Department Says George Floyd's Death a Priority". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
- ↑ Scher, Isaac (May 27, 2020). "The police officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck has been involved in shootings and was the subject of 10 different complaints". Insider. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- ↑ Melendez, Pilar (May 28, 2020). "Minneapolis Man: Cop Who Kneeled on George Floyd 'Tried to Kill Me' in 2008". The Daily Beast. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
- ↑ Lastra, Ana; Rasmussen, Eric (May 28, 2020). "George Floyd, fired officer overlapped security shifts at south Minneapolis club". KSTP.com/ABC 5 Eyewitness News. Minneapolis, MN. Archived from the original on May 29, 2020. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
- ↑ "The Latest: Attorneys seek outside probe of Floyd's death". AP NEWS. May 29, 2020.
- ↑ Chiu, Allyson; Shammas, Brittany (May 27, 2020). "George Floyd death: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey says officer should be charged". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- ↑ "Minneapolis store owner explains why police were called on George Floyd". CNN. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
Cup Foods co-owner Mahmoud Abumayyaleh describes the moments that led to one of his employee's calling the police on George Floyd for alleged fraud.
- ↑ Forliti, Amy; Long, Colleen (May 27, 2020). "Mayor: Officer who put knee on man's neck should be charged". Associated Press.
- ↑ "4 Minneapolis police officers terminated for involvement of George Floyd death". KBJR. May 26, 2020. Archived from the original on May 30, 2020. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
- ↑ Jennifer Glasse; Scott Norvell (June 9, 2020). "'Not just a tragedy, a crime': George Floyd buried- Live updates". Al Jazeera. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 30.2 "George Floyd died of asphyxia and loss of blood flow, a private autopsy says". New York Times. June 1, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
- ↑ Amir Vera (June 1, 2020). "Independent autopsy finds George Floyd's death a homicide due to 'asphyxiation from sustained pressure'". CNN. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
- ↑ Brooks, Brad (2020-06-02). "State, independent autopsies agree on homicide in George Floyd case, but clash on underlying cause". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-03-17.
- ↑ Dionne Searcey (June 4, 2020). "Hundreds Will Gather at a Memorial for George Floyd in Minneapolis". New York Times. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
- ↑ "Complaint – State of Minnesota v. Derek Michael Chauvin" (PDF). Minnesota District Court, Fourth Judicial District. May 29, 2020. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 30, 2020.
File No. 27-CR-20-12646
- ↑ "Experts say upgraded case against officer in Floyd's death fits". NBC News. Retrieved 2021-03-17.
- ↑ "Ex-Officer Derek Chauvin Makes First Court Appearance In George Floyd Case, Faces $1M Bail With Conditions". 2020-06-08. Retrieved 2021-03-17.
- ↑ "First week of Derek Chauvin's trial saw third-degree murder charge reinstated and jurors selected". Twin Cities. 2021-03-14. Retrieved 2021-03-17.
- ↑ 38.0 38.1 "Tou Thao, Ex-Officer Charged In The Death Of George Floyd, Released From Jail". 2020-07-04. Retrieved 2021-03-17.
- ↑ Rosa Sanchez (June 10, 2020). "Thomas Lane, police officer involved in George Floyd's death, released from jail on bail". ABC. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
- ↑ CNNWire (2020-06-20). "2nd ex-Minneapolis officer charged in George Floyd's death released from jail". ABC7 Chicago. Retrieved 2021-03-17.
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- ↑ staff and agencies (June 29, 2020). "George Floyd judge warns he may move trials if officials keep talking about case". Guardian. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
- ↑ Barrett, Joe (2021-03-09). "Derek Chauvin Trial Begins With Jury Selection". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-03-17.
- ↑ Bailey, Holly. "Chauvin murder trial: What to know as the first officer is tried in George Floyd's death". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2021-03-17.
- ↑ Emily Bazelon (April 20, 2021). "Chauvin received three guilty verdicts for one crime. Here's why and what it means for his sentence". New York Times. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
- ↑ Will Wright (July 22, 2020). "Derek Chauvin Charged With Multiple Tax-Related Felonies in Minnesota". New York Times. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
- ↑ "Derek and Kellie Chauvin Charged With Multiple Counts of Felony Tax Evasion Spanning Several Years". Washington County Attorney's Office. July 22, 2020. Archived from the original on July 23, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
- ↑ 47.0 47.1 47.2 47.3 Chris McGreal; Peter Beaumont; Maanvi Singh; Mario Koran (May 29, 2020). "George Floyd killing: fires erupt in Minneapolis as US rocked by third night of protests". Guardian. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
- ↑ Kristina Bravo; Erin Myers; Marissa Wenzke. "More than 500 arrested in chaotic night of protests in downtown L.A. over killing of George Floyd". KTLA. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
- ↑ "Protesters gather worldwide to show solidarity with George Floyd". France 24. May 31, 2020. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
- ↑ staff (May 29, 2020). "Black CNN reporter arrested on air at protests over George Floyd killing". Guardian. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- ↑ 51.0 51.1 51.2 51.3 Peter Baker (May 30, 2020). "In Days of Discord, a President Fans the Flames". New York Times. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
- ↑ Jason Hoffman (May 30, 2020). "Trump offers US military assistance to Minnesota". CNN. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
- ↑ Shane Goldmacher (June 14, 2020). "Racial Justice Groups Flooded With Millions in Donations in Wake of Floyd Death". New York Times. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
- ↑ "Protest Updates: George Floyd's Brother Appeals to U.N. for Help". New York Times. June 17, 2020. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
- ↑ Chris Cilizza (May 30, 2020). "The governor of Minnesota just showed what leadership in a crisis looks like". CNN. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
- ↑ Patrick Condon; Tory Van Oot (May 30, 2020). "Gov. Walz urges Twin Cities residents to stay inside after 'fully' mobilizing the National Guard for riots". Star Tribune. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
- ↑ "realdonaldtrump". Twitter. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
- ↑ Katie Rogers. "Biden Calls Chauvin Verdict a 'Much Too Rare' Moment of Justice". New York Times. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
- ↑ David K. Li (June 2, 2020). "State of Minnesota files civil rights charge against Minneapolis Police Department". NBC News. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
- ↑ "Live Updates on George Floyd Protests: Minneapolis to Ban Use of Chokeholds by Police". New York Times. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
- ↑ Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs; Jack Healy (June 20, 2020). "Protesters Demanded Police Reform. Minnesota Lawmakers Left Without Passing a Bill". New York Times. Retrieved June 20, 2020.