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.
Those who took part did so despite provocative police harassment. In the days leading up to the protests, the PSNI issued threats of fines and court appearances for breaking Covid-19 regulations. This led to protests in Omagh, Newry and Portadown being formally cancelled, although small and socially-distanced gatherings did go ahead. Protest organisers were visited at home and cautioned. Checkpoints were set up and public transport hubs were policed to prevent people attending.