- Democrats say their bill is aimed at ensuring meaningful and structural changes for the benefits and safety of the citizens.
- Thousands of protesters continued with the demonstrations across cities in the US and around the world.
- The protests were largely peaceful, except for in Seattle.
Congressional Democrats paid their tribute to George Floyd by taking a knee for 8 minutes and 46 seconds as a symbol of the duration that former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin pinned him down. They then unveiled a package of police reforms as a response to the killing of African Americans by law enforcement officers.
Democrats say their bill is aimed at ensuring meaningful and structural changes for the benefits and safety of the citizens. The legislation is set to hold police accountable, improve transparency in policing, and end police brutality.
Meanwhile, thousands of protesters continued with the demonstrations across cities in the US and around the world. Hundreds gathered in Washington, DC, and besides the call for justice, they also protested the use of military personnel to contain the protesters.
Demonstrations were also witnessed on the Golden Gate Bridge, in San Francisco, the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, and also in central London, Paris, Berlin, Sydney and Tokyo.
The protests were largely peaceful, except for in Seattle, where a protester was wounded when an armed man drove towards a crowd of demonstrators and shot them. In England, protesters pulled down a statue of a slave trader, throwing it into a river.
The protests, which began on May 25, the day Floyd was killed, have since spread across US cities, and have been characterized by a lot of violence. The protesters, who chanted “no justice, no peace,” carried placards that said “He said I can’t breathe. Justice for George.” The protests have since turned global with a number of countries joining in.
In a horrifying video, Chauvin pinned Floyd down with his knee as he lay on the ground during an arrest. The video footage was taken by a witness and was sent on social media. It showed Floyd helpless, asking the police not to kill him. Floyd said several times, “I can’t breathe!”
The officer is then heard telling him to relax he continues to pin him down. “My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts,” Floyd cries out. “[I need] water or something. Please. Please. I can’t breathe, officer. . . I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe.” In the footage witnesses are heard pleading with the police to let go the man but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
Floyd’s case is similar to Eric Garner’s, a black man who was unarmed and was killed in 2014 in New York. Garner was placed in a police chokehold, and pleaded for his life. Garner uttered the same phrase as Floyd: “I can’t breathe.” The police officer involved in Garner’s case was fired after the investigations were completed.
All four Minneapolis police officers were fired on May 26, following a video on Floyd’s last moments that went viral. Chauvin, who had Floyd pinned down on his knee, faces second degree murder and second degree manslaughter. The other three— Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao— face the charges of aiding and abetting second degree manslaughter with culpable negligence.