The family of George Floyd is preparing to host events with civil rights leaders and politicians across the country to honor the upcoming anniversary of Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police.
“We will celebrate my brother’s life in a very, very special way,” Bridgett Floyd, George Floyd’s sister, said at a virtual press conference Thursday.
Floyd, 46, died on May 25, 2020, after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. His death started months of protests worldwide against police brutality and systemic racism.
Last month, Chauvin was found guilty of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The three other former officers accused of aiding and abetting Chauvin will stand trial in March 2022. All four men have also been indicted by a federal grand jury with violating Floyd’s civil rights during his arrest.
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Terrence Floyd, center, speaks to a group gathered at the site where his brother George Floyd was killed by police on Monday, June 1, 2020 in Minneapolis. (Photo: Stephen Maturen, Getty Images)
The Rev. Al Sharpton and family attorney Ben Crump will lead events in Houston, Minneapolis and New York over the weekend leading up to the anniversary.
On Saturday, the pair will lead a march in Houston, where Floyd grew up, along with the family, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and the city’s mayor, Sylvester Turner.
The march will begin at McGregor Park, where several vigils have been held in Floyd’s honor and end at Jack Yates High School. A massive Black Lives Matter mural stretches across two blocks in front of the school, which Floyd attended.
On Sunday, Floyd’s brother Terrence will lead a march in New York City with activists from Sharpton’s civil rights organization, National Action Network.
Meanwhile in Minneapolis, Bridgett Floyd will lead a rally and march in front of Hennepin County Government Center, the site of frequent protests during Chauvin’s trial. Bridgett Floyd will be joined by families of Daunte Wright, Trayvon Martin and Botham Jean.
Bridgett Floyd, the sister of George Floyd, speaks during the March on Washington, Friday Aug. 28, 2020, in Washington, on the 57th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst, AP)
The George Floyd Memorial Foundation, led by Bridgett Floyd and Jacari Harris, are calling for a national virtual day of action on May 24. Harris encouraged supporters to donate to their organization and call legislators Monday to push for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
The organization will hold a celebration of life at Commons Park in downtown Minneapolis with activities for families, performances and guest speakers on Tuesday, the anniversary.
Bridgett Floyd reflected on the year following her brother’s death Thursday, as more cases of police brutality have made headlines. She called for “unity in the community” and greater accountability in law enforcement. Floyd said she is optimistic the police reform bill bearing her brother’s name will pass.
Floyd said she feels stronger each day as the anniversary draws closer.
“That’s because I have been through so much in this last year,” she said. “I will continue to be the change, be the voice and be his legacy.”
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George Floyd anniversary events
- In Houston: The lineup will begin at 8 a.m. and the march at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 22.
- In New York City: The march will start at the Brooklyn Borough Hall at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 23.
- In Minneapolis: The rally will begin at the Hennepin County Government Center at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 23; the march will begin at 5:30 p.m.
Follow N’dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg
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