The image of George Floyd being handcuffed and choked to death by a police officer sparked a massive protest movement across the United States and around the world. On May 25, 2020, Floyd was arrested by Minneapolis police officers after being suspected of using a counterfeit $20 bill. Video footage captured one officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes while three other officers watched.
Floyd repeatedly cried out that he couldn’t breathe, but the officers did not release him. Eventually, Floyd lost consciousness and was later pronounced dead at a hospital. The incident was quickly condemned by politicians, celebrities, and activists, who called for justice for Floyd and an end to police brutality and systemic racism.
The protests that followed were some of the largest in U.S. history, with millions of people taking to the streets in cities and towns across the country. Many of the demonstrations were peaceful, but some turned violent, with clashes between protesters and police, looting, and property damage.
The killing of George Floyd sparked a national conversation about policing and racial justice that is still ongoing. It also led to calls for reforms in law enforcement, including the defunding or abolition of police departments, the establishment of civilian oversight boards, and the implementation of new policies to prevent police brutality and hold officers accountable for their actions.
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