The senseless killing of George Floyd by a police officer two years ago in the US state of Minnesota is still vivid in the minds of Black Americans.
On May 25, 2020, former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, placed his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck for nine excruciating minutes, during an arrest, until Floyd, who is Black, died.
Chauvin is currently serving 22 years in prison for Floyd’s murder.
“The Black community was very angry when (Floyd) died,” 21-year-old Ella “E” Thies of Minneapolis told Anadolu Agency. “This was one of the last straws.”
Thies, who is Black, took part in protests in Minneapolis immediately following Floyd’s murder.
“I can’t say anything good happened from his death, but it opened people’s eyes,” said Thies. “It brought about awareness of police brutality against Black people. We have suffered years and years of oppression and violence by police officers.”
Thies said Floyd’s murder was a wake-up call to America about the disparities in police treatment between Blacks and whites, emphasizing her firsthand knowledge of white privilege, as she was adopted by a white family.
“Growing up with a white mom in a white family, I had a certain amount of protection that other Black people didn’t have,” said Thies. “But being Black was a place where I did not receive that white privilege.”