“Enough is enough! What will it take a civil war? A new president?” demanded Cardi B on May 26, a day after the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man from the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. George’s death during a police arrest was captured on a video, which quickly went viral after it was posted online. In the clip, members of the Minneapolis Police Force have pinned him to the ground. One officer is seen kneeling across his neck. George’s nose is bleeding while he pleads, “Please, I can’t breathe.” Onlookers recording the arrest beg the officers to “let him breathe.” Towards the end of the video, George goes silent and motionless.
He was pronounced dead at the at 9:25 p.m. at Hennepin County Medical Center, according to the medical examiner, per The New York Times. Miley Cyrus was among the celebs who quickly spoke out about the incident, reminding her fans that “each one of us have a voice”. She wrote, “Like so many of you, I am angry, outraged and heartbroken about the injustice in our country that has been going on for way too long- centuries & generations,” Miley captioned the May 29 post. “So f**kin sick of posting this sh-t,” wrote T.I. while sharing a screenshot of an officer kneeling on George’s neck. “Then, if we don’t,it goes unnoticed. I’m ready when y’all is… IT won’t STOP UNTIL WE STOP IT‼️#ByAnyMeans #LongLiveGeorgeFloyd #USorELSE” LeBron James, an outspoken critic of police brutality, echoed those sentiments. He posted a picture of him wearing a shirt with Eric Garner’s last words (“I can’t breathe”) on May 27, a day after he posted a meme of a kneeling Colin Kapernick opposite the kneeling MPD officer. “Do you understand NOW!!??!!?? Or is it still blurred to you??” Janet Jackson also shared the meme to her account.
Not three ,not five but almost 15 minutes of a cop knees on a mans neck while handcuffed😒😒😒It’s so sickening.Things have to change !!
— iamcardib (@iamcardib) May 27, 2020
And now they should be prosecuted. This happens way too often, and seems only when caught on camera are MURDERERS even getting fired … unfortunately, the only way things will start changing is if all these racist ignorant monsters have to face the consequences- behind bars. https://t.co/pocb8PDJ08
— Gigi Hadid (@GiGiHadid) May 27, 2020
The viral video doesn’t show the moments before the fatal arrest, but The Star Tribune reports the officers were responding to a call about a man attempting to use a counterfeit $20 bill. The four officers who arrived at the scene found George, who matched the description of the suspect, sitting on top of a car and appearing to be intoxicated. In the wake of George’s death, the four officers were fired, and the FBI is conducting a federal civil rights investigation. Kim Kardashian, who has taken up criminal justice reform as a cause, tweeted a picture of George along with the hashtag #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd.
“My heart can’t take it, seeing what’s happened to #GeorgeFloyd,” Ciara tweeted. ‘This is eerily similar to the death of #EricGarner. There has to be a stopping point in the process of arresting someone. It’s all senseless.” Halle Berry wrote, “I’m so extremely angry. This bullshit has to stop! #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd.” Zoe Kravitz, Eva Longoria, Jamie Lee Curtis, Madonna, Penelope Cruz, and Jessica Alba also posted a picture of George Floyd to their Instagram accounts, along with his dying words: “Please, I can’t breathe. My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts. They’re going to kill me.”
“I’m going to bed with a heavy heart once AGAIN,” Porsha Williams posted to her Instagram account.” I saw a small part of George’s horrific MURDER earlier this morning, and it has taken me all day to build up the courage to watch the entire ((9min)) video! I have cried, and I’ve been hurt most of the day and even still tonight! How can this be happening again and again in America?! We must demand all involved be sentenced to LIFE in prison for this modern-day lynching. I am praying for his family and sending love and strength as they fight for justice for George Floyd!”
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden weighed in on George’s death. “George Floyd deserved better, and his family deserves justice. His life mattered.” U.S. Senator Kamala Harris also called for justice. “Here’s the sad reality: what happened to George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery & Christian Cooper has gone on for generations to Black Americans. Cell phones just made it more visible. Dismantling systemic racism in our nation starts with demanding justice & holding offenders accountable.”
President Donald Trump also took to Twitter to promise “justice will be served” and tweeted, “At my request, the FBI and the Department of Justice are already well into an investigation as to the very sad and tragic death in Minnesota of George Floyd I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement. My heart goes out to George’s family and friends. Justice will be served!”