“It’s been a long year. It’s been a painful year, ”Floyd’s sister Bridgett told the crowd on Sunday. “It was very frustrating for me and my family that our lives changed in a flash – I still don’t know why.”
On Tuesday, it was a year since Floyd, who was black, died after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee to Floyd’s neck when Floyd asked for air. The white chauvin has since been convicted of murder and manslaughter for Floyd’s death, sparking global protests and calling for a change in policing in the United States.
Speakers at the event included several local activists, Floyd family lawyer Ben Crump, and Rev. Al Sharpton calling on the US Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The legislation, which would make the major changes to policing at the federal level, would prohibit the use of chokeholds and establish a national database of police misconduct.
“We want something to come from Washington. We want something that changes federal law, ”Sharpton said. “The judiciary has been adjourned for too long. It is time for them to vote and make this law.”
The George Floyd Memorial Foundation, a non-profit based in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where Floyd was born, is holding a series of events in Minneapolis this weekend and early next week to honor Floyd on the anniversary. These events include the rally and a downtown march on Sunday led by Floyd’s family and other families of victims of police violence.
The nonprofit was founded by Floyd’s siblings in September 2020 to honor their brother and fight against racial inequalities in black and brown communities.
Other pre-anniversary events in Minneapolis include a virtual “day of action,” encouraging people to organize remotely, and two panels with families and other activists on Monday, followed by a community festival and candlelight vigil on Tuesday .
In New York, Floyd’s brother Terrence attended a meeting organized by Sharpton in Brooklyn on Sunday and urged supporters not to forget his brother or the victims of racial violence.
“If my brother’s name keeps ringing, everyone else’s name will ring,” said Terrence Floyd. “Breonna Taylor, Sean Bell, Ahmaud Arbery, you could go through the whole list. There are many of them. “
Chief executive Jacari Harris said the group has received donations from the Minneapolis Foundation, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, and athletic shoe and clothing retailer Finish Line, among others. Despite large grants from corporations and other organizations, the average donation to the Harris charity was $ 47.
Harris said the group also funded an initiative in Fayetteville to help reduce homelessness, a scholarship program for law students, and an internship program at Texas A&M University, where Floyd attended school.