(AP) — All across the United States, Americans gathered on Tuesday to honor George Floyd and mark the year since he died at the hands of Minneapolis police, a death captured on wrenching bystander video that galvanized the racial justice movement and continues to bring calls for change.
Floyd’s sister Bridgett and other family members held a moment of silence at a “Celebration of Life” event at a downtown Minneapolis park that included music, food trucks, an inflatable bouncy house and a vaccination stand. A few miles away, at the site of the intersection where Floyd died, dozens of people kneeled around a steel fist sculpture for several minutes — symbolizing the 9 minutes, 29 seconds during which Floyd was pinned down.
“It’s been a troubling year, a long year,” Bridgett Floyd told the crowd downtown. “But we made it. … The love is here. George is here.”
Other members of Floyd’s family met in Washington with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who urged Congress to quickly pass a law in Floyd’s name that would bring changes to policing. A moment of silence to honor Floyd was also held in New York and a rally was held in Los Angeles. Globally, a rally took place in Germany and Floyd’s death was marked by U.S. embassies in Greece and Spain.
Floyd, 46, who was Black, died May 25, 2020, after then-Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck, pinning him to the ground for about 9 1/2 minutes.
His death, which was captured on video sparked global outrage and prompted protests in South Florida, and the entire United States, across the Caribbean. The protests also went global, in cities like London, Berlin, Toronto and Copenhagen.
In the aftermath of Floyd’s death, major changes were announced in police departments across the country. The Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) formed a new social justice task force to help bring about positive changes within the organization and improve relations between residents and the police. The Broward County Commissioners also voted unanimously passed an ordinance to create a police and criminal justice review board, sponsored by Jamaican-born Commissioner Dale Holness.
In April, the white officer that killed George Floyd was convicted of murder and faces sentencing June 25. Three other fired officers still face trial.