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George Floyd rally marks a year since murder

May 24, 2021

Activists and family members met ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Black man's murder at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

People march during an inaugural remembrance demonstration for George Floyd on May 23, 2021
Thousands rallied to mark a year since the death of Black man George Floyd by a white police officerImage: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Around 1,500 people rallied in Minneapolis in the US on Sunday ahead of the one-year anniversary of Black man George Floyd's death.

Tuesday will mark 365 days since the unarmed 46-year-old Floyd was killed when former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd's neck for around nine minutes.

Chauvin was found guilty of murder and the incident reignited the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement as protests took place around the world.

Members of Floyd's family, activists and other families of victims of police violence joined citizens in front of the courthouse in downtown Minneapolis where the Chauvin trial concluded a month ago.

Toshira Garraway Allen, founder of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, and others raise a fist onstage during the "One Year, What's Changed?" rally hosted by the George Floyd Global Memorial
Toshira Garraway Allen, founder of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, and others raised a fist onstage during the 'One Year, What's Changed?' rallyImage: Nicholas Pfosi/REUTERS

Many carrying signs with pictures of Floyd, Philando Castile and other Black people killed by police.

The crowds shouted: "no justice, no peace!" and "Say his name" — chants linked to the BLM movement.

'It has been a painful year,' says Floyd's sister

Several local activists, members of Floyd's family and family attorney Ben Crump spoke at the event.

Floyd's sister Bridgett told the crowd on Sunday, "It has been a long year. It has been a painful year."

"I will stand and be the voice for him," she said. "I will stand and be the change for him."

Bridgett Floyd speaks at a rally and march for the one year anniversary of George Floyd's death on Sunday
Bridgett Floyd told a crowd that she will 'stand by' her brotherImage: Christian Monterrosa/AP Photo/picture alliance

Veteran campaigner Reverend Al Sharpton told the crowd that Floyd's killing was "one of the greatest disgraces in American history."

"What happened to George Floyd, as well as so many others, is driving change not only across America but the world," he said.

 "They thought that they could get away with it, and you went to the streets, Black and white, young and old, in the middle of the pandemic" to call for justice, Sharpton said.

Further events honoring George Floyd

In New York on Sunday, Floyd's brother Terrence attended a Brooklyn gathering in his brother's memory organized by Sharpton. He asked supporters to keep the name of his brother "ringing" for other victims of police violence. "Breonna Taylor, Sean Bell, Ahmaud Arbery, you could go through the whole list. There's a lot of them."

Terrence Floyd, center, the brother of George Floyd, stands with his fist raised
Several events are planned in the run-up to the anniversary of George Floyd's murder on TuesdayImage: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP Photo/picture alliance

Other events in Minneapolis ahead of the anniversary of George Floyd's death include a virtual "day of action" that encourages people to organize remotely. Two panels with Floyd family members and other activists are planned for Monday. On Tuesday, there will be a community festival and candlelight vigil.

kmm/sms (AFP, AP)