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George Floyd’s death anniversary: A timeline capturing key events

George Floyd's death sparked worldwide protests and called for a change in policing in the United States.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 24, 2021 11:07:12 pm
People march during the "One Year, What's Changed?" rally hosted by the George Floyd Global Memorial to commemorate the first anniversary of his death, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. May 23, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS)

It’s been a year since the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer after he pushed his knee into the former’s neck. Floyd’s death sparked worldwide protests and called for a change in policing in the United States.

Marking his first death anniversary on Tuesday, US President Joe Biden is scheduled to host Floyd’s family at the White House. As the day neared, the family, and others who lost their loved ones to police encounters, also joined activists and citizens in Minneapolis for a march on Sunday.

As Tuesday marks Floyd’s first death anniversary, here’s a timeline of events that took place since Floyd’s death 

May 25, 2020: Minneapolis police officers get a call after 8 pm about a possible counterfeit $20 bill being used at a grocery store. On reaching the spot, they encounter a Black man –– George Floyd,  who struggles and ends up being handcuffed and facedown on the ground. Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin kneels on the back of Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes. A video shot by a bystander shows Floyd crying, “I can’t breathe,” multiple times before going silent. He’s pronounced dead at a hospital.

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May 26: In a statement, the police say Floyd died of a “medical incident”. The statement claimed he physically resisted and appeared to be in medical distress. Minutes later, the bystander video is posted online after which the police release another statement saying the FBI will help in investigating the matter. Chauvin, along with three other officers — Thomas Lane, J Kueng and Tou Thao — are fired. Protests begin.

Jerlano Bell of North Carolina holds up a George Floyd sign at the “One Year, What’s Changed?” rally hosted by the George Floyd Global Memorial to commemorate the first anniversary of his death, outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. May 23, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS)

May 27: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey demands criminal charges against Chauvin. Protests lead to unrest in Minneapolis and also spread to other cities.

May 28: Minnesota Governor Tim Walz activates the Minnesota National Guard. Police abandon the 3rd Precinct station as protesters take over and set it on fire.


May 29: Chauvin is arrested, charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Then US President Donald Trump takes to Twitter and mentions about ‘thugs’ in Minneapolis protests and warns: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Protests turn violent again in Minneapolis and elsewhere.

May 30: Trump tries to walk back his tweet, while some of the protests turn violent.

May 31: Walz says state Attorney General Keith Ellison will lead prosecutions in Floyd’s death.

The protests, which began in Minneapolis following Floyd’s death Monday after a police officer pressed a knee on his neck for more than eight minutes, have left parts of the city a grid of broken windows, burned-out buildings and ransacked stores. In pic, law enforcement officers amassed along Lake Street near Hiawatha Avenue as fires burned after a night of unrest. (Photo: AP)

June 1: The county medical examiner’s report points out that Floyd’s heart stopped as police restrained him and compressed his neck. It also noted that Floyd had underlying health issues, listing fentanyl and methamphetamine use as “other significant conditions.”

June 2: Minnesota’s Department of Human Rights launches a civil rights investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department.

June 3: Ellison files a second-degree murder charge against Chauvin, and also charges the other three officers.

June 4: A funeral service for Floyd is held in Minneapolis.

June 5: Minneapolis bans chokeholds by police. This was the first of many changes to be introduced in the coming months, including an overhaul of the police department’s use-of-force policy.


June 6: Massive, peaceful protests take place nationwide to demand police reform. Services are held for Floyd in Raeford, NC, near his birthplace.

In Washington, growing crowds outside the White House chanted, taunted Secret Service agents and at times pushed against security barriers during protests against Floyd’s death. In pic, police in riot gear prepare to advance on protesters in Minneapolis. (Photo: AP)

June 7: Most of Minneapolis City Council members say they are in favour of dismantling the police department. The idea later is stalled but sparks a national debate over police reform.


June 8: Thousands pay their respects to Floyd in Houston, where he grew up.

June 9: Floyd is buried.

June 10: Floyd’s brother testifies before the House Judiciary Committee for police accountability.


June 16: Trump signs an executive order towards better police practices and to establish a database to track officers with excessive use-of-force plaints.

July 15: Floyd’s family sues Minneapolis and the four former officers involved in the case.

Ananda Bates sings his song “We The People for Terrence Floyd” after the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. (REUTERS)

July 21: Minnesota Legislature passes a broad slate of police accountability measures including bans on neck restraints, chokeholds and so-called warrior-style training.

Oct. 7: Chauvin is released from state prison after he posts $1-million bond. This sparks more protests.

Nov. 5: Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill rejects defense requests to move the officers’ trials.

January 12, 2021: Cahill states Chauvin will be tried alone because of courtroom capacity issues. The other officers will be tried in August.

February 12: City leaders say George Floyd Square –– the intersection barricaded since Floyd’s death –– will be reopened to traffic after Chauvin’s trial.

March 9: First potential jurors are questioned in Chauvin’s trial.

People photograph fireworks in celebration of the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.(REUTERS)

March 12: Minneapolis agrees to pay $27-million settlement to Floyd family.

March 19: Judge declines to delay or move the trial over concerns that this could taint the jury pool.

March 23: Jury selection completed with 12 jurors and three alternates.

March 29: Opening statements are given.

April 11: Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, is shot dead by a white police officer during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis, triggering successive days of protest.

April 12: Judge refuses to sequester Chauvin jury because of Wright shooting.

April 15: Testimony ends.

April 20: Chauvin found guilty of killing George Floyd and was convicted with charges –– second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

With inputs from AP

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First published on: 24-05-2021 at 10:48:09 pm
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