How George Floyd’s death led to mass protests in US

by Shatakshi Gupta

The United States has a gloomy past of Racism. We often come across, the news of racial discrimination in the US, where the African Americans are ill-treated due to their dark skin color. On May 25 2020, we again came across a heartbreaking news where a 46-year old African American, named George Floyd was brutally killed by a police officer. As George Floyd, was suspected of counterfeiting $20 bill, by the police officer. This terrifying incident took place in the city of Minneapolis, which is located in the state of Minnesota. On that day, the police officer named Derek Chauvin, hard pressed his knees over George’s neck, almost for the next nine minutes. It has been told that in the first 5 to 6 minutes, George repeatedly requested Derek to get off his neck as he was unable to breathe, due to his choked neck. But, that unkind and brutal police officer did not responded to him, and continued with what he was doing to George. The last words which George spoke were “I can’t breathe”, and he died. Derek continued pressing against his neck for even after George was dead. And when he was finally taken to the hospital, doctors confirmed that he was dead even before he reached to the hospital.

The incident which happened triggered mass protests in the United States. But this was not only George’s death that made these protests to be a Can’t Breathe protests but, a similar kind of brutality by the police was also reported back in the year 2014. The incident of 2014, took away Eric Garner’s life. Eric Garner was also an African American, who lost his life in the hands of the policemen. Both of these incidents actually hold too much of common into them, as both of them were killed by the police officer and also in the similar manner by choking their necks, and most importantly, the last words of both of them were “I can’t breathe”.

 After the incident of 2014, George Floyd’s death turned out to be like the last straw over the camel’s back, and thus, resulted into the nationwide protests. People came out on streets demanding justice for George Floyd, raising slogans like, “Can’t Breathe”, “Blacks Lives Matter” and so on.

Also, there are a number of Hollywood celebrities who expressed their desolation, over Floyd’s death. Some of the celebrities like Ariana Grande, Halsey, Jamie Foxx and many more even came down on the streets and joined the protests.

These protests are thus turning out to be more violent after US President Donald Trump’s statement. According to CNN, He called violent protests as “domestic acts of terror” which law enforcement would “dominate the streets” to quell.

“If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” Trump said.

The protests became so violent that the protesters chock-a-block, the area outside the White House. Trump and his family were rushed to an underground bunker of the White House complex as protests raged outside the building on Friday evening. Trump wasn’t seen on Sunday and spent most of Monday behind closed doors — leading to concern even from his allies that he was absent at a moment of national crisis.

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