Minneapolis, Minnesota–This week, I had an instagram live discussion with Lavish Mack, to discuss what Minneapolis looks like a year after the death of George Floyd. We talk all things Minnesota including the recent Derek Chauvin trial, the 2020 protests, as well as why he decided to walk hundreds of miles from Minneapolis to the home of Breonna Taylor in his #JourneyForJustcie.
The death of George Floyd brought the conversation of police brutality, race and racism against Black America to the forefront like never before. The conversation or topic was nothing new. For years since social media apps became so prominent in our everyday lives, Black death at the hands of police seemed like an added social media feature.
Despite protests around the U.S, the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd, still came as a surprise to a lot of people. This is due to the countless lives lost at the hands of police and officers either never being arrested, or given lighter sentences because they have a badge.
During the height of the 2020 protests, I had the opportunity to travel to Minneapolis, where I talked to locals and took photos of the damage from fires and looting. In addition, the owner of Cup Foods allowed me the opportunity to interview him about the controversy surrounding his store. Cup Foods is the establishment that decided to call police on Floyd over a fake counterfeit bill.
Following the death of Floyd, Cup Foods owner Mahmoud Abumayyaleh released a statement saying they will no longer involve police and instead use non-violent tactics for conflict resolution.
“We have been a cornerstone and pillar in this community for three generations of our family and for 31-years have proudly served our neighborhood. Since George Floyd’s untimely passing, Cup Foods has been in regular contact with Floyd’s family who flew in from Houston. We are joining each other in prayer and solidarity and standing together to demand accountability from the cops. We will also personally be donating to pay for George Floyd’s funeral.” – Cup Foods
Chauvin was found guilty of all three charges, which curved the protest and turmoil that would soon follow a not-guilty verdict. The second-degree murder charge says Chauvin intentionally assaulted Floyd with his knee, which unintentionally caused Floyd’s death. The third-degree murder charge says Chauvin acted with a “depraved mind, without regard for human life.” The second-degree manslaughter charge says Chauvin’s “culpable negligence” caused Floyd’s death.
A guilty verdict on all three of these charges did not however, serve as an immediate end to police killings in the U.S.
The death by police of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Ma’Khia Bryant in Ohio, as well as Andrew Brown in North Carolina, served as this devastating reminder.