Gunfire Stuns Family-Friendly Event in Minneapolis on 1-Year Anniversary of George Floyd’s Death

It’s been one year since the death of George Floyd on a Minneapolis street sent shockwaves around the globe.  Protests, many of them turning violent, erupted in cities all over the country.  

And on this somber anniversary, there were tense moments in Minneapolis after the sound of gunfire near the very spot where Floyd was killed one year ago by a police officer. It happened just hours before a planned family-friendly festival to honor Floyd.

The jarring moment was captured on video during an Associated Press live shot. Warning: The video does contain some cursing.

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But it did not derail the mission of Floyd’s family who marked the one-year anniversary in Washington, D.C., advocating for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

“We need it on Biden’s desk,” said Floyd’s brother, Philonese Floyd. “We need to get this taken care of because just like Gianna said, your daddy is going to do what?” he questioned his niece. “Change the world!” seven-year-old Gianna responded.  

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Floyd’s death galvanized the world largely because of cell phone video of an officer kneeling on his neck that, once seen, could not be forgotten.

The place where it happened, 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis, is now called George Floyd Square.

“I really thought that my brother’s death would be the last police brutality case, but as we all can see, they are at it again and again and again,” Bridgette Floyd said.

“So, brothers and sisters, I say as we come upon the one-year anniversary of George Floyd being taken from this earth, we must use this opportunity to get the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed,” said the Floyd family attorney Ben Crump.

During his speech to a joint session of Congress last month, Biden called for the legislation to be passed by the anniversary of Floyd’s killing. That deadline has been missed. The bill passed almost immediately in the House but still faces GOP opposition in the Senate. One sticking point is the call to remove qualified immunity for officers.

The Floyd family met with President Biden Tuesday without the media in the room. The White House said the president wanted a private, real conversation on this somber occasion.

“It’s been one year since George Floyd was murdered,” Biden tweeted Tuesday. “In that time, George’s family has shown extraordinary courage. Last month’s conviction was a step towards justice – but we cannot stop there. We face an inflection point. We have to act.”

In April, a jury convicted former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in Floyd’s murder and he will be sentenced on June 25. Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison.  

The trial of the three other officers involved in Floyd’s killing is scheduled for August. 

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