The call for justice is strong across America this week following the wrongful death of George Floyd on Monday shed light on the racial injustice still plaguing our country.
The 46-year-old father of two died in police custody after a white Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground and put his knee on his neck for eight minutes.
Now, just one day after it was announced that the four Minneapolis police officers involved in the incident were fired, Floyd’s sister, Bridgett, believes the officers should be charged with murder.
“I would like for those officers to be charged with murder because that’s exactly what they did,” Bridgett Floyd told Hoda Kotb on Today Wednesday morning. “They murdered my brother. He was crying for help. I don’t need them to be suspended and able to work in another state or another county. Their license should be taken away, their jobs should be taken away, and they should be put in jail for murder.”
Video footage from a bystander at the scene shows Floyd, a black man, pleading with police that he can’t breathe and that his stomach and neck are hurting. After several minutes, Floyd is seen going silent as onlookers plead with the officer to get off of his neck. His body eventually goes limp, and after being transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance, Floyd died Monday night.
The hashtag #icantbreathe is trending across social media as people everywhere recognize a desperate need for action — we cannot afford to be silent.
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“Today our black brothers and sisters are experiencing another trauma that communicates to them that their lives aren’t valuable,” Christine Caine wrote on Instagram. “If we are truly the body of Christ one pain affects us all. We aren’t just the body when it’s convenient. We are the body when it’s hurting and broken. No more than the leg can disconnect from the arm can I disconnect my pain from that of my brethren.”
South Carolina Senator, Tim Scott, echoed the call of Bridgett Floyd Tuesday night writing on Instagram, “Firing the officers that killed #GeorgeFloyd was the right first move. The second? Arrest them. #icantbreathe”
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Since news of George Floyd’s death first broke early Tuesday, the FBI has taken over the investigation.
The attorney for the Floyd family, civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, said there is more video of the incident taken from surveillance cameras of surrounding businesses.
“It’s an ‘I can’t breathe’ again case in 2020, and it’s worse than Eric Garner in many ways because you hear the people even pleading with them, ‘Please get your knee off his neck, have some humanity, this is a human being.”’
Crump added that without video footage of the heinous incident, he believes the Minneapolis police “would’ve gave a false narrative and they would’ve swept it under the rug.”
“How many more of these senseless, excessive-force killings by the people who are supposed to protect us can we take in black America and all of America?” Crump said.
A viral copy and paste thread making it’s rounds on social media Wednesday gives just a small, but harrowing glimpse into the most recent injustices against our black brothers and sisters. The post recounts several of the most recent hashtags started in response to deaths that were a result of racial injustice.
“I cannot stop hearing George Floyd say ‘please please I can’t breathe.’
You are either outraged or you are complicit.
As a white ally who is furious and heartsick that this just keeps happening over and over and over again, I am sharing this.
Black people are so tired. 😓
We can’t breathe with a knee on our neck (#GeorgeFloyd).
We can’t go jogging (#AmaudArbery).
We can’t have a cellphone (#StephonClark).
We can’t leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards).
We can’t play loud music (#JordanDavis).
We can’t sell CD’s (#AltonSterling).
We can’t sleep (#AiyanaJones)
We can’t walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown).
We can’t play cops and robbers (#TamirRice).
We can’t go to church (#Charleston9).
We can’t walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin).
We can’t hold a hair brush while leaving our own bachelor party (#SeanBell).
We can’t party on New Years (#OscarGrant).
We can’t get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland).
We can’t lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile).
We can’t break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones).
We can’t shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford) .
We can’t have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher).
We can’t read a book in our own car (#KeithScott).
We can’t be a 10yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover).
We can’t decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese).
We can’t ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans).
We can’t cash our check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood).
We can’t take out our wallet (#AmadouDiallo).
We can’t run (#WalterScott).
We can’t breathe (#EricGarner).
We can’t live (#FreddieGray).
Tired of making hashtags.
Tired of trying to convince you that our #BlackLivesMatter too.
Tired of dying.
So very tired.”
It poses the question: How many more hashtags do we need to make a change?
Bridget Floyd says she’s hopeful that her family will receive justice in her brother’s case.
“I have a lot of faith because I believe in the utmost, powerful God,” she said. “Faith is something that me and my brother always talked about because he was a God-fearing man regardless of what he done. We all have our faults, we all make mistakes, nobody’s perfect, but I believe that justice will be served. I have enough faith to stand on it.”