“Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." 

- Albert Einstein

Black Lives Matter: George Floyd Death Leads to Riots

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

Kate Byng-Hall investigates the cause of the civil unrest spreading across america and takes a closer look at some key factors.

Photo by Clay Banks

On Monday 25th May, 46-year-old George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, Minnesota after a police officer knelt on his neck, suffocating him. The incident was recorded by an onlooker and has been viewed millions of times.

Derek Chauvin, 44, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds after he was detained for allegedly paying for cigarettes using a forged $20 bill. After 6 minutes, Floyd became unresponsive, but Chauvin did not move his knee despite fellow officers being unable to find Floyd’s pulse. He was taken to hospital, but was pronounced dead an hour later.

Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday, four days after the incident, but many have criticised the charge’s leniency as Floyd can be clearly heard saying “I can’t breathe” and “don’t kill me” while he was being restrained. Three other officers present during the arrest are awaiting charges.