MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — George Floyd is a name now known around the world.
One month ago Thursday, Floyd died in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes. A lot has happened since Floyd’s death, both here in the Twin Cities and across the country — from protests, to efforts to change the law, to a renewed focus on inequality throughout the world.
A day after Floyd’s death, all four Minneapolis officers involved were fired. What happened next was an outcry for the history books that began with several nights of unrest in the Twin Cites. Hundreds of businesses in Minneapolis and St. Paul were looted, damaged, and burned. Gov. Tim Walz activated more than 5,000 National Guard soldiers to help restore order.
For days, people protested outside the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct. Eventually, officers were told to leave the building; that’s when it was burned and broken into.
Four days after Floyd’s death, the now-fired officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder. Some thought that wasn’t enough, and protesters wanted all four fired officers behind bars. Their cries for justice were heard.
Five days after Chauvin was charged, the three other fired officers were also arrested and charged, and we saw changes to Minneapolis Police policy. Choke-holds and neck restraints are now banned.
At the State Capitol, the DFL-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate couldn’t agree on police reform, and their special session ended with no action taken.
Throughout all the unrest and the heartache, one place has remained a steadfast site of solace — the intersection of 38th Street South and Chicago Avenue, where Floyd took his last breaths. People who come here to honor his life have hope that change is coming.
Minneapolis city leaders say the streets around Floyd’s growing memorial at 38th and Chicago will remind closed while they consider future plans for the area.
As of this week, five Minneapolis City Council members are pushing ahead with plans to change the Minneapolis city charter. Council members Ellison, Cano, Gordon, Fletcher, and Bender want to replace the police department with “a department of community safety and violence prevention.” They released the proposed charter amendment with new language outlining the department’s duties. Voters would have the final say in November.