Hundreds of people including members of George Floyd’s family have held a rally to mark the first anniversary of his death in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Among those participating in the rally on Sunday were also people who lost loved ones to police encounters. The rally was one of several events planned nationwide to mark the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death.
The demonstrators gathered in front of the courthouse in downtown Minneapolis where a month ago former policeman Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering Floyd.
Today, I attended the George Floyd “Unity in the Community” Memorial Service at the Fairmont Courthouse, organized by the Pastoral Alliance for Social Justice and Change. When we stood in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to reflect on his murder, it felt like forever. pic.twitter.com/apHACAyVRS— Joey Garcia (@JoeyGarciaWV) May 23, 2021
He died after Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes on May 25 last year. His dying words, "I can't breathe," became a rallying cry in a wave of street demonstrations against racism and police brutality across the United States and around the globe.
Many marchers on Sunday carried signs with pictures of Floyd and other Black people killed by police.
Minnesota governor Tim Walz, Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey and St Paul mayor Melvin Carter watched alongside Floyd’s family members as speakers called for justice for families of African Americans slain by police.
"It has been a long year. It has been a painful year," Floyd's sister, Bridgett Floyd, told the crowd.
"It has been very frustrating for me and my family for our lives to change in the blink of an eye - I still don't know why," she said, referring to her brother's death.
Also, several local activists, Floyd family attorney Ben Crump and the Rev Al Sharpton delivered speeches in which they called on the US Senate to pass legislation on policing in Floyd’s name.
Man Attempts to Destroy George Floyd Square Memorial with Ax https://t.co/F9fQOzdBH1— TMZ (@TMZ) May 18, 2021
The legislation aimed at bringing about the most significant changes to policing on the federal level, would ban the use of chokeholds and establish a national database of police misconduct.
“We want something coming out of Washington. We want something that will change federal law,” Sharpton said. “There’s been an adjournment on justice for too long. It’s time for them to vote and make this the law.”
The program of events marking Floyd's death has been organized by The George Floyd Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit launched by Floyd's siblings in September to fight racial inequality.
“George Floyd should not go down in history as someone with a knee on his neck, but as someone who broke the chain of police brutality and illegality,” Sharpton said.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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