In another disturbing event involving racially-fueled police brutality, a Minneapolis man named George Floyd was killed after an officer kneeled down on his throat, preventing him from properly breathing. Despite cries of “I can’t breathe,” a phrase that has become all too common in cases of this nature, Floyd was forcefully restrained for over seven minutes and died in the hours following.
After video footage of the arrest went viral, all four of the officers involved were “separated from employment.” Floyd’s family has since demanded that the officers involved receive murder charges, though there have been no further developments on that front. The outcry following Floyd’s murder has been passionate and vocal, with massive crowds taking to the street last night in protest.
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The rally was held on the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue, where Floyd was killed. From there, a march began leading to the Minneapolis Police’s 3rd Precinct building, where police clad in riot gear had already set up a barricade. Though many sought to protest in a peaceful fashion, tensions eventually flared. Video footage captured at the scene reveals some of the escalations.
Police cars were barraged with projectiles and swarmed by protestors, while police raised the stakes by pelting people with rubber bullets and launching tear gas canisters and flashbang grenades. Andy Mannix of the Star Tribune was on scene to chronicle events and shared a few pictures on social media, capturing the frantic and smoke-filled atmosphere while taking a rubber bullet to the thigh for his trouble.
It’s clear that tolerance for racial injustice has once again reached a boiling point, especially following the deaths of both Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd in quick succession. Many have already pointed out the contrast between police response to this protest and that of a mostly-white, and sometimes heavily armed group of protestors swarming Michigan’s Capitol building. Rest in peace to George Floyd.