On Monday evening, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man in Minneapolis, died after police officers handcuffed him and forcefully pinned him to the ground, even though he repeated told them he could not breathe. The incident was recorded on video and shared to social media, sparking mass protests and civil unrest in the city on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Minneapolis police said that officers were responding to an alleged forgery and were told a person later described as the suspect was sitting on a car. When they arrived they found Floyd, who was inside a car, and said he "physically resisted" after he got out. Video captured by bystanders at the scene shows an officer with his knee pressed against Floyd's neck as he was handcuffed on the pavement, telling them that his body hurt and he couldn't breathe. Shortly after the encounter, he died at a medical center.
Floyd's family has demanded justice, telling CBS This Morning that they don't believe that he was resisting the officers.
"You have eyes, I have eyes," his brother Rodney Floyd told CBS. "You don't need to believe what they say. You can see what you saw and I saw, and the whole nation saw, the country saw, and every person, black person in America saw the same thing because it don't happen to nobody else."
While the four police officers involved have been terminated, Floyd's family and many others are calling for more serious action.
Here are just a few ways you can help demand justice for Floyd and support anti-racism efforts across the country.
Sign the #JusticeForFloyd petition
Color of Change has shared a petition calling for the officers involved to be charged with murder, to be banned from ever working as police officers again, and for Mayor Frey to block them from receiving their pensions.
Signing the petition will send a letter to Frey and District Attorney Michael Freeman. In addition, you can also send a 30-second video testimonial calling for justice to Color of Change via the petition website.
Contact Minneapolis authorities directly
Benjamin Crump, a civil rights attorney who is now representing the Floyd family, has urged people to take action by calling DA Freeman directly to demand action against the officers involved.
@attorneycrump responds to the firing of four officers involved in George Floyd’s death. Attorney Crump urges you to call DA Mike Freeman (612-348-5550) now and tell him to ARREST and CHARGE these officers for the murder of #GeorgeFloyd. #JusticeForFloyd #ICantBreathe #SayHisName pic.twitter.com/RYsantJ1wv— Ben Crump Law, PLLC (@BenCrumpLaw) May 26, 2020
Donate money to George Floyd's family
If you would like to contribute financially to Floyd's funeral and burial costs, his family has set up a GoFundMe page for donations. Anyone who wishes to send cards, letters of encouragement and/or contributions in the form of a money order or check, can do so by mail:
The Estate of George Floyd
c/o Ben Crump Law, PLLC
122 S. Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Attn: Adner Marcelin
All checks should be made out to The Estate of George Floyd.
Help bail out protestors
You can also donate to help protestors who have been arrested for demanding justice. The Minnesota Freedom Fund, a community-based non-profit that pays bail for those who can't afford it, has been providing support to those arrested during protests for Floyd.
checkin in quick - sorry not updating more -- most of our people are TAKING BACK OUR STREETS 4 #GeorgeFloyd— Minnesota Freedom Fund (@MNFreedomFund) May 28, 2020
Protester phone #s below (write on yr arm). We're still on when bail is needed.
means everything that ppl are doing whatever they can - KEEP THE PRESSURE ON#ABOLISH pic.twitter.com/9doGLnAQui
With protests spreading across the country (and world), there are plenty of options available to support activists in your city, including: Atlanta Solidarity Fund, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, The Liberty Fund NYC, Philadelphia Community Bail Fund, Peoples City Council Freedom Fund (Los Angeles), Restoring Justice (Houston), Colorado Freedom Fund (Denver), and Chicago Community Bond Fund.
Be mindful of what you share on social media
Though social media has been key in spreading news and calling for accountability, be mindful of sharing images and footage of police brutality — which can be triggering — as well as photos and videos of protestors showing their faces and other identifying features, which may make it easier for them to be tracked or targeted.
Talk about racism with the people in your life
Beyond naming and calling out racism when you see it, talk to the people around you about the systemic racism that led to Floyd's death, and encourage conversations about anti-racism. As pervasive as racism — and specifically anti-blackness — unfortunately can be, we can all be accountable for taking action against it.
Support Anti-Racism Organizations
Organizations fighting to end white supremacy need help all of the time, not just after a viral tragedy occurs. Consider donating to organizations such as NAACP, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Black Youth Project 100.
You can also look through change.org to find petitions demanding action in smaller cases.
Support and Promote Mental Health Resources for the Black Community
Mental health is so important, but especially in times like these. Rachel Cargle created the Loveland Foundation to provide therapy and healing resources to Black women and girls. Other organizations you can donate to include the Black Mental Health Alliance, Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness, and the Crisis Text Line.