Over the last few weeks, tens of thousands of people have taken to streets, parks, plazas and monuments all over the world to protest against racism and injustice.
Spurred on at first by the death of George Floyd after a Minneapolis police officer held his knee against the man’s neck for almost nine minutes—an encounter caught on video that went pinging around the world—it soon became apparent that what happened to Floyd was going to have far greater repercussions.
An outpouring of support for Floyd’s family and calls for legal action were to be expected, especially coming on the heels of the shooting deaths of Ahmaud Arbery in February and Breonna Taylor in March. The now former cop who put his knee on Floyd stands charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter (bail has been set at $1.25 million; he has not yet entered a plea and his next court date is June 29) and the three officers with him, also since fired, have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
But a combination of factors—not least of them being the COVID-19 pandemic that has cost millions of jobs and taken a greater economic toll on the Black community—has led to what feels like an unprecedented call to action in response to these killings.