• Micara Rooplall

# Justice for George Floyd

Updated: Jan 8

“… I can’t breathe, please sir, please, please… please, I can’t breathe…” were the final words spoken by George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, who was inequitably killed by police officer, Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota on the 25th of May 2020. George Floyd was declared dead upon his arrival at the hospital after Chauvin forcefully held him to the ground, with his knee heavily pressed down on Floyd’s neck, for a shocking period of eight minutes and 46 seconds. Chauvin ignored Floyd’s pleas and desperate cries for help, as Floyd became yet another black American dying at the hands of police brutality.

The police were initially called on George Floyd after he allegedly used a counterfeit twenty-dollar-bill to purchase goods from Cup Foods, a grocery store where he was a frequent customer. The surveillance cameras served to prove that he did not show any signs of aggression or resistance towards the police officers. After a few days, Derek Chauvin was charged with murder.

George Floyd’s funeral took place on the 9th of June, where his family and friends payed their final respects to him. Transported in a gold-coloured casket by a white, horse-drawn carriage, George Floyd was taken to the Houston Memorial Gardens cemetery in Texas, where he was laid to rest.

Disappointment and fury have flooded the world, with thousands of people participating in protest actions and riots against the blatant injustice exhibited against George Floyd. Nelson Mandela, a great leader, who fought for equality and human rights, once said, “When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” Many heart-broken, angry and disappointed people, including celebrities and influencers, are using social media platforms to spread awareness and gain support for an anti-racist society and the Black Lives Matter movement. There have been a countless petitions distributed and signed daily, as well as many websites that have been raising funds for this campaign.

This ruthless incident has taken an emotional toll on the whole world, as people continue to fight for justice and equality. This has sparked many powerful, moving messages, which have triggered people to think differently and fight against racism. The George Floyd tragedy can be seen as a long-awaited turning point in the world, where everybody can fight together for a common cause and where diversity is embraced and, race, language, culture and nationality does not matter.

One of the main questions asked is, “When will history stop repeating itself?”. Well, the answer is simple – if people start working together to banish acts of racism, prejudice and cruelty, and use available platforms to create a world where everyone is equal and loved, the world will become a fairer, and happier place to live in.

One can only hope that George Floyd’s memory will live on and that this incident will bring about the positive change the world needs. The world should not forget what happened to George Floyd. Police brutality has been an ongoing issue in the United States for many years, and Floyd’s death may finally be the catalyst the world needed to not only end police brutality, but racism at large. The great Mahatma Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” It is therefore up to the youth of the 21st-century to create a world full of love and peace with no hatred, racism and prejudice.

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