HOUSTON – From the moment he said “I can’t breathe” to protests and violence in cities across the US, George Floyd’s death — at the hands of Minneapolis police officers — has reignited the discussion about race and police brutality in America.
Here is a look at a timeline of events that have happened since his death:
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on May 25 in Minneapolis police custody after video showed him pleading for air as an officer knelt on his neck. Floyd's death has sparked protests and unrest across the nation as demonstrators demand police reform and justice served to Floyd's arresting officers.
The four Minneapolis police officers who were involved in the arrest of Floyd were fired after a bystander’s video showed the man pleading that he could not breathe as a white officer knelt on his neck. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey tweeted about the firings, saying "This is the right call.”
Protesters took to the streets in major cities across the country, including Houston, after Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody. Protesters took to the streets demanding change.
The demonstrations were initially peaceful but turned “extremely dangerous,” according to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz. Groups of demonstrators looted and damaged stores in the surrounding areas, according to CNN’s observations. Attorney Benjamin Crump said in a statement that he and Floyd’s relatives were calling for peaceful protests and social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Walz called in the National Guard as a wounded Minneapolis braced for more violence one day after rioting. Parts of one neighborhood were reduced to smoking shambles, with burned buildings, looted stores and angry graffiti demanding justice.
Officer Derek Chauvin, 44, was taken into custody by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Chauvin had been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a State of Disaster for all Texas counties following several protests in cities throughout Texas over the death of Floyd. Also on this date, Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo wanted to honor Floyd and offered to have HPD to serve as funeral security escort to the family and Floyd’s body.
An autopsy commissioned for Floyd’s family found that he died of asphyxiation due to neck and back compression when a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes and ignored his cries of distress, the family’s attorneys said.
People marched for several hours through downtown Houston in a peaceful protest of the death of Floyd. Rappers Trae tha Truth and Bun B and Mayor Turner marched with the family of Floyd starting from Discovery Green.
“Make no mistake, George Floyd was a Houstonian born and raised in the Third Ward and so this could have happened to any person of color in the city of Houston,” said Bun B.
June 3: Charges upgraded against officer in George Floyd’s case, 3 other officers involved also charged
Prosecutors charged Chauvin with a new more serious charge of second-degree murder and for the first time leveled charges against three other officers at the scene, according to criminal complaints.
The first of several memorial services for George Floyd was held in Minneapolis. After Thursday’s service, Floyd’s body was taken to North Carolina for a memorial service there over the weekend before being brought home to Houston for a public visitation and funeral.
Floyd’s second memorial took place over the weekend in the state where he was born after the 11th night of protests ignited by his death.
Thousands thronged to the Fountain of Praise church to pay their respects to George Floyd ahead of his funeral Tuesday.
Prominent attendees of the public visitation included Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rev. Al Sharpton, attorney Ben Crump and members of Floyd’s family including his brothers Philonise and Rodney. Families of other victims of racial violence including Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Ahmaud Arbery and Botham Jean were also in attendance to support the family.
A judge on Monday kept bail at $1 million for a former Minneapolis police officer charged with second-degree murder in Floyd’s death. Chauvin said little during an 11-minute hearing in which he appeared before Hennepin County Judge Jeannice M. Reding on closed-circuit television from the state’s maximum security prison in Oak Park Heights.
He wore a mask and handcuffs as he sat at a table, where he answered yes or no to routine housekeeping questions and confirmed the spelling of his name and address. He did not enter a plea; a step that usually comes later in Minnesota courts.
June 8: Judge Lina Hidalgo declares June 9 ‘George Perry Floyd, Jr. Day’ in Harris County
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo signed a proclamation commemorating Tuesday, June 9 as “George Perry Floyd, Jr. Day” in Harris County.
Friends and family of Floyd said their final goodbyes during his funeral being held in Houston on Tuesday. The service was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at the Fountain on Praise church in southwest Houston. Afterward, a procession was expected to take Floyd’s body to a cemetery in Pearland, where he will be buried next to his mother.
June 9: Houston mayor Sylvester Turner declares June 9 ‘George Perry Floyd, Jr. Day’ in Houston
Houston mayor Sylvester Turner has declared June 9 ‘George Perry Floyd, Jr. Day’ in Houston.