May 25, 2020, a Black man named George Floyd, a 46-year old American hip-hop artist, was brutally killed by a white policeman in broad daylight.
What was Floyd doing that led to such a tragic event?
A convenience store employee called 911 to report that Floyd had allegedly bought cigarettes using a counterfeit $20 bill.
After investigators and the media reviewed CCTV cameras nearby, the world found out that the officers who responded to the 911 call took several actions that turned out to violate a few of the Minneapolis Police Department policies.
Could there have been any way or chance to save George Floyd?
Onlookers said that they called out for help while George Floyd was pinned down on the ground. Unfortunately, it only took 8 minutes and 46 seconds for Derek Chauvin, the officer who was seen on the video pinning Floyd to the ground by pushing his knee on the victim’s neck, to kill the man.
What made that tragedy so catalyzing, so emotional, so awakening was that millions of people from around the world held civil rights demonstrations – they took to the streets to cry for justice. The historic Black Lives Matter protests happened, bringing to light the rampant shootings of Black civilians.
Sadly, though, George Floyd is only one of the thousands of people killed due to racism.
On June 4, 2020, a total of 429 civilians, 88 of whom were Black, were fatally shot by police. As of June 2020, police shootings of black Americans stood at 30 fatal shootings per one million of the population. While black Americans only account for just 13 percent of the total US population, they are more than a quarter of the victims of police shootings.
According to the Statista Research Department, the trend of police shootings in the US appears to only be increasing. There 132 civilians, 16 of whom were Black, who were killed in the first two months of 2021.