Ten months after the death of George Floyd, the murder trial against former police officer Derek Chauvin was finally underway. This specific case has shined a light on the entire country concerning the relationship between law enforcement and African Americans.
On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis police officers arrested George Floyd after a convenience store employee called 911 and told the police Floyd bought cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill, according to the New York Times.
Four police officers arrived and attempted to arrest Floyd but after a short exchange with police, a struggle began, resulting in Floyd falling to the ground, according to the BBC.
Chauvin placed his knee between Floyd’s head and neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. Floyd pleads for his life saying, “I can’t breathe” and “You’re going to kill me.” Floyd was pronounced dead about one hour later at a local hospital.
Observers recorded the incident and the clip of Chauvin with his knee on the neck of Floyd circulated across social media. Many became outraged and protested justice for Floyd and African Americans. This would not be the first time people protested as a result of police brutality against unarmed African Americans.
The shootings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake also sparked outrage and protests across the country. Many people view this as a pattern of excessive force that the police have when dealing with African Americans.
Although there are many supporters of Floyd and other victims of police brutality, there are still doubters of the movement that argue that police are just following protocol, doing their job and that people need to respect them.
Regardless, there is no denying that the relationship between African Americans and the police is not the most ideal.
As of April 20, Chauvin was found guilty of all charges of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter of George Floyd. The former police officer is being held at Oak Park Heights in Stillwater, Minnesota while awaiting sentencing, according to Forbes.