Special News Series: Rising Up For Justice! – A Timeline of What Has Happened in the Year Since George Floyd’s Death


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Introduction To This Series:

This post is one installment in an ongoing news series: a “living history” of the current national and international uprising for justice.

Today’s movement descends directly from the many earlier civil rights struggles against repeated injustices and race-based violence, including the killing of unarmed Black people. The posts in this series serve as a timeline of the uprising that began on May 26, 2020, the day after a Minneapolis police officer killed an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, by kneeling on his neck. The viral video of Floyd’s torturous suffocation brought unprecedented national awareness to the ongoing demand to truly make Black Lives Matter in this country.

The posts in this series focus on stories of the particular killings that have spurred the current uprising and on the protests taking place around the USA and across the globe. Sadly, thousands of people have lost their lives to systemic racial, gender, sexuality, judicial, and economic injustice. The few whose names are listed here represent the countless others lost before and since. Likewise, we can report but a few of the countless demonstrations for justice now taking place in our major cities, small towns, and suburbs.

To view the entire series of Rising Up for Justice! posts, insert “rising up” in the search bar above.

A Timeline of What Has Happened in the Year Since George Floyd’s Death

As dusk neared on May 25, 2020, a teenager walking to a corner store in South Minneapolis whipped out her cellphone and recorded a shocking sight: A white police officer kneeling on the neck of a Black man for more than nine agonizing minutes.

In the hours that followed, the cellphone video showing George Floyd’s murder would spread across the globe and incite an uprising for racial justice nearly unparalleled in American history.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans took to the streets. Protesters and police officers clashed in many cities. Corporations scrambled to issue statements affirming their commitments to racial equality. Athletes knelt during the national anthem.

The country both struggled to confront its history of racial division and continued to succumb to it. Americans saw new police killings greeted by fresh rounds of protests. Presidential candidates traded barbs over race, policing, law and order, and bias. And a former police officer’s trial left many across the country nervously glued to their television sets. Here is a look back at what has transpired in the year since Mr. Floyd’s death.

By Giulia McDonnell, Nieto del RioJohn Eligon and Adeel Hassan, The New York Times

May 25, 2021

Photo: The New York Times

MAY 25

George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, is killed on a street corner in Minneapolis after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by Derek Chauvin and other officers responding to a forgery call. Darnella Frazier, a 17-year-old, turns on her cellphone to capture video of Mr. Chauvin, who is white, using his knee to pin Mr. Floyd by his neck. Mr. Floyd is heard repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe.”

Ms. Frazier’s video contradicted the initial police account, which said Mr. Floyd had died after a “medical incident” as he was restrained by officers.

MAY 26

The Minneapolis police chief, Medaria Arradondo, fires the four officers involved in the arrest of Mr. Floyd. Hundreds of protesters against police violence flood the streets of the city in the evening.

MAY 27

Demonstrations and marches are mounted in a number of cities to protest killings of Black people, including Mr. Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., and Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Ga.

MAY 28

The Minneapolis police station where the officers involved in Mr. Floyd’s death worked is set on fire during protests.

Gov. Tim Walz activates the Minnesota National Guard as hundreds of buildings are burned during protests over several nights. “Let’s be very clear,” Mr. Walz said. “The situation in Minneapolis is no longer, in any way, about the murder of George Floyd. It is about attacking civil society, instilling fear and disrupting our great cities.”

MAY 29

The officer who pinned Mr. Floyd’s neck to the ground with his knee, Mr. Chauvin, is arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

President Trump threatens to use military force to suppress riots. On Twitter, he calls protesters “thugs” and says, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.

MAY 30

When a crowd of protesters gathers outside the White House, the Secret Service temporarily locks down the building and Mr. Trump is moved to an underground bunker for safety.

In Atlanta, hundreds of demonstrators pour into the streets near Centennial Olympic Park, leaving behind smashed windows. Two college students leaving the demonstrations after the city’s curfew are dragged from their car by police officers who fire stun guns at them.

In New York, the police and protesters clash across Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, leaving demonstrators and officers injured.

MAY 31

Hundreds of thousands of people join largely peaceful demonstrations across the country, but some cities report hundreds of arrests after protesters clashed with the police and some areas are looted. National Guard troops are deployed in more than two dozen states.

The police fire tear gas near the White House to dissuade protesters who had smashed the windows of prominent buildings, overturned cars and set fires, with smoke seen rising from near the Washington Monument.

It is the sixth day of nationwide unrest since the death of Mr. Floyd. Mayors have imposed curfews and several governors have mobilized the National Guard, but that has not quelled the widespread protests…


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