“I can’t breath!” – Georg Floyd, dying in the streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, on May 25th 2020
One year ago today, George Perry Floyd Jr., a black American, was murdered by a white police officer, who knelt on Floyd’s back for more than 9 minutes after he was arrest on suspicion of using a counterfeit banknote. While facing the street, George Floyd himself, paramedics and people standing by repeatedly informed the officers that Floyd was not able to breathe, which the officers seemingly ignored. His outcry “I can’t breath!” became a slogan of global protests against police violence in general and racial motivated cruelties in particular, which demanded criminal justice reform and a trial against the responsible police officers. The brutal murder of George Floyd turned the spotlight on the international phenomenon of excessive, unregulated and inappropriate use of force by law enforcement, which is frequently motivated by racism, prejudice and stereotypes. On our platform, you will find relevant literature and media that you can use to discuss similar cases with your pupils under the topic clusters Black Lives Matter and Rassismus. We also recommend using the short film “Two Distant Strangers” (2020) in higher grades.
Today, we commemorate George Floyd, brother of four siblings, father of five children, victim of police violence.