Lives end in silence

A look at the George Floyd protests

David Galchenko, Reporter

On May 25, a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was caught on video killing George Floyd, an unarmed African American man, by kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes. Since the death of Floyd, there have been many large protests in more than 350 cities throughout the country. Some of the cities that the larger protests have occurred are Minneapolis, New York City, Los Angeles,and Washington D.C.. 

The first major protest happened on May 26, the day after George Floyd’s death, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he was killed. According to BBC, hundreds of people walked out onto the streets protesting against Floyd’s killing and demanding that the four police officers,  Derek Chauvin, J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, andTou Thao, be held accountable. As the protest continued, some people turned from peaceful demonstrations to more violent protesting, for which reason Minnesota Governor Tim Walz asked for the support of the National Guard. 

New York City also became a hub for thousands of protestors. People walking on foot and cyclists from all around NYC went out onto the streets in protest of racial inequality and to support police reforms. 

Another city in which larger protests have broken out is Los Angeles, California. Here, like in other cities, the protests have turned more violent. The Los Angeleno reported that protesters vandalized and looted multiple stores, including a Whole Foods Market, GUCCI store, and an Alexander McQueen store. When police forces showed up to the protests, two patrol cars were attacked, and their back windshields broken. Police forces have also faced attacks with mortars. On May 30, California Governor Gavin Newson declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard. According to the Los Angeleno, the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, said, “The California National Guard is being deployed to Los Angeles overnight to support our local response to maintain peace and safety on the streets of our city.”

Washington D.C. became home to the largest protest yet. Tens of thousands of people walked out and protested in front of the White House to protest the death of George Floyd and police brutality. Similarly to many other cities these protests started peacefully, but resulted in more violent events. Protestors set up barricades on the streets, catching some on fire, and some people were seen throwing stones and other objects at the riot police officers deployed. A fire was also set in the basement of St. John’s Episcopal Church, a historical building that was built in 1816. BBC reported that riot police forces were able to keep the protests around the White House at bay, but it is reported that President Donald Trump Jr. had to spend some time in an underground bunker used only in emergencies. 

Though the protests now are not as big and are more peaceful, people continue to protest racial inequality and police brutality.