It was only May 25, 2020—Memorial Day here in the States—when George Floyd became the latest on a tragically long list of black men and women who have lost their lives while in police custody. And yet, with all that has happened in the wake of his death, it feels as though it’s been a lifetime.
As video footage began circulating of Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes despite repeated cries of “I can’t breathe,” while three other officers looked on without intervening, and criminal charges had not yet been brought against the four officers, a nation began to rise up. Beginning in Minneapolis and eventually spreading to each of the 50 states, as well as several countries across the globe, citizens have taken to the streets—during a global pandemic, no less—to protest police brutality and racial inequality.
While justice for Floyd was certainly the catalyst, his death is not the only one that’s bringing people out into the streets.
Between the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman and EMT shot eight times on March 13 by police in Louisville, KY as she slept in her bed; the death of Tony McDade, a trans black man shot by police in Tallahassee, FL days after Floyd’s death; the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man out jogging who was killed in Georgia by two white civilians who were arrested months later (and after video of the incident was disseminated publicly), to name a few, outrage was widespread.
And with things moving and tensions escalating at such a rapid pace, it can be hard to keep track of it all.