Around the world, millions have been watching days of unrest sweep across the United States over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by Devin Chauvin, a white police officer.
In many places, the disturbing video and violent riots have pushed the pandemic to the back burner of the news while outrage of the incident continues to take the world by storm. From London where Britons marched from the center of the city to the US Embassy chanting, “No justice! No peace!” to the US Embassy in Berlin where a sea of people gathered around the building shouting, “Justice for George Floyd.”
Social media has also been flooded with content condemning the racism that continues to exist and divide the nation.
While not all protests have taken a violent turn, many have, prompting governors across the nation to call for the National Guard, impose curfews while demonstrators torch parked vehicles, break into stores and clash with officers in riot gear.
On Sunday, Melvin Carter, the mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota spoke on CNN’s “State of the Union” saying, “When all of humanity can look at this video and say, ‘That’s disgusting, that’s unacceptable,’ and yet somehow we have four officers in the video, who – three of whom sat there and either helped hold Mr. Floyd down or stood guard over the scene while it happened, that is an incredible insult to humanity.
“When you have four officers in the video all responsible for the taking of George Floyd’s life, it points to a culture of normalized, a culture that’s accepted.”
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz took to Twitter on Sunday saying, “Minnesota consistently ranks highly for our public schools, innovation and opportunity, and happiness – if you’re white. If you’re not, the opposite is true. Systemic racism must be addressed if we are to secure justice, peace, and order for all Minnesotans.
“We cannot simply go back to the place we were before. That place is not good enough. If we do not fix the systemic issues, we will be back to a point with our communities on fire, our security and safety in question, and a searching for who we are.”
Floyd died after being arrested by Minneapolis police for suspicion of passing a counterfeit bill on May 25. Cellphone footage recorded by bystanders showed Chauvin pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes while Floyd, who was handcuffed, pleaded for air and then eventually stopped moving.
Chauvin now faces murder and manslaughter charges. The three other officers who took part in the arrest were all fired but haven’t yet been charged.
This incident comes after the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. All deaths underline a broad United States phenomenon known as “living while black.”
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