At 8:25 pm on May 25 George Floyd stopped breathing. Moments later his pulse stopped. It was two minutes before Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin removed his knee from Floyd’s neck. Less than an hour later, he was pronounced dead.
Minneapolis now resembles a police state. The National Guard is occupying key points of the city with tanks and automatic weapons, including bridges and intersections which have been occupied by protestors in recent days. The Third Precinct police station is still smouldering, and the nearby 5th Police Precinct is surrounded by barbed wire and barricades. Thousands of volunteers are cleaning up the streets and most businesses remain boarded up, yet in an inspiring display of the deep solidarity that still exists, painted on top of the boards are statements of ongoing solidarity.
George Floyd suffocated to death with a Minneapolis Police Officer’s knee to his neck on May 25th, 2020. Video of Floyd’s murder released by the Washington Post clearly shows the police lied about Floyd resisting arrest. Murdered as someone who “looked like a suspect,” the events surrounding George Floyd’s death expose the casual yet deadly brutality of the police.
While states order workers to “stay home”, the country battles a nationwide crisis to remain housed that started far before the pandemic. One in four Americans spend more than half of their monthly income on housing to keep up with rents that have increased more than 150% on average since 2010. As a result, on April 1, only a third of U.S. tenants paid their rent — the unconscionable predicament that tens of millions of working people find themselves in after just one missed paycheck.