It was a year ago today that George Floyd was murdered by former police officer Derek Chauvin. Not many of us will forget where we were when we heard the news of a man being killed in Minneapolis after being pulled over by the police for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill at a local store. The video clip recorded by a young bystander on the street (which I have still yet to see and likely never will) began to circulate around the country, and very soon, the world.
Floyd’s death launched a reckoning on race, social justice, and especially police brutality in America that has been bubbling for centuries. Black people being unjustly treated is nothing new, but enough was enough. It’s still enough. With the Black Lives Matter movement charging forward, peaceful marches began around the country and spread all around the world for George Floyd. Yes, there were also many marches that turned violent; it was not our finest moment as a nation. People of all races, colors, and creeds were fed up.
Yes, his life mattered.
Appearing on CNN alongside attorney Ben Crump, Floyd’s brother Philonise shared how their family is dealing with George being gone on the anniversary of his death. “My sister called me at 12 o’clock last night and said, ‘This is the day our brother left us,’” he said. “I think things have changed. I think it is moving slowly, but we are making progress.”
Most of all, we can’t help but think about Floyd’s daughter, Gianna, now 7. Days after her father’s murder, she sat upon the shoulders of her father’s friend and NBA star Stephen Jackson, and said ,“Daddy changed the world.”
On Tuesday, according to the Associated Press, there will be an outdoor day-long festival titled “Rise and Remember George Floyd,” at the intersection where Floyd lost his life. Organized by the George Floyd Global Memorial, the community will come together to honor his life and close with a candlelight vigil at 8 p.m. which caps days of marches, rallies and discussions about the continued fight for racial justice.
Also today, President Joe Biden is scheduled to host Floyd’s family at the White House, attorney Ben Crump confirmed on Twitter Saturday. “Now is time to act,” Crump said Tuesday on CNN. “Not just talk but act.”