Lighting a candle to honor the memory of George Floyd at the crossroads where he died was one of the commemorations set for Wednesday’s second anniversary of the murder of a black man at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
Activists plan a vigil alongside a rally at the governor’s residence in St. Paul for the two-year anniversary of Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, which ignited protests in Minneapolis and around the world as viewers video increasingly spread from
The intersection of 38th and Chicago streets became known informally as George Floyd Square after his death, with a large statue of a clenched fist as the monument’s focal point. The city planned to unveil a street sign officially dubbed the corner of George Perry Floyd Square just before the vigil, featuring Floyd’s brother Terence.
“Today we honor two years after the murder of George Floyd by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement. “Every day since, we have remembered the life and legacy of George Floyd as a friend, father, brother and loved one. His name has been heard in every corner of our world.”
Colton Muth, 32, visited Crossroads on Wednesday to “make sure I’m paying tribute because his sacrifice made a huge impact on the world.”
Muth, who identifies as mixed race, recalled watching video of Floyd dying moments from his home in the Minneapolis suburb of Burnsville. He said it hit him especially hard because he grew up just a few blocks from the corner, walking to the convenience store several times as a kid.
“He could have faced me in the sidewalk,” he said. “It shook me to such an extent that even where I was living, I was afraid to walk around in my own neighborhood.”
Muth called Chauvin’s conviction a “first step” toward holding police accountable, but said the city had done nothing to improve the policing and situation that led to the killing of Floyd. And he said the lack of federal police reforms two years later was disappointing.
On Wednesday in Washington, with an impasse over how Congress addressed racism and excessive use of force, President Joe Biden signed an executive order on policing to mark the second anniversary.
Subsequent events in Minneapolis include Thursday a gathering of the families of loved ones who have died in talks with police and a fundraising gala on Friday aimed at preserving offerings left at the crossroads by protesters and mourners. To raise funds for where Floyd died.
An all-day celebration and a concert at the crossroads were also planned for Saturday.
Floyd, 46, died when Chauvin, who is white, rested his knee on Floyd’s neck for 9½ minutes after Floyd was handcuffed and pleaded he could not breathe .
Chauvin is serving a 22-and-a-half year prison sentence after pleading guilty last year to state charges of manslaughter and manslaughter. The former officer also pleaded guilty to violating Floyd’s civil rights in a federal case, where he now faces 20 to 25 years in prison.
Former officer J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao are planned to be tried on state charges in June. Thomas Lane pleaded guilty last week to abetting and abetting second-degree murder for his role in Floyd’s murder, months after all three former officers pleaded guilty in February to federal charges of intentionally violating Floyd’s rights. had gone.