Sunday, April 11, 2021

George Floyd’s Death Helped Spur Important Change


FLORIDA — The George Floyd murder birthed some of the largest Black Lives Matter protests that this nation has seen. 


What You Need To Know

  • George Floyd was killed on May 25 when a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes during a call about a fake $20 bill
  •  A representative of the Hillsborough County chapter of the NAACP said protests of Floyd’s death have helped create a positive change
  • Former officer Derek Chauvin has been charged in Floyd’s death and jury selection in his trial starts Monday

Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Park was home to several protests in response to former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Floyd died that day and the officer was fired and charged with second degree murder and second degree manslaughter. 

The incident happened on May 25, 2020 after a local store owner called the police on Floyd for using a fake $20 bill. You could hear Floyd cry for help as the responding officer, Chauvin kneeled into his neck. Millions of people watched Floyd take his last breath, sparking outrage — many communities demanding change. 

“It’s opened the door for a conversation of diversity and equality here in Tampa,” said Yvette Lewis, NAACP President for the Hillsborough County chapter. “We are restructuring and changing some policies that are not in favor of people of color. That’s a big deal.”

Lewis told me the NAACP is working with law enforcement to push these policies adding that real change happens behind closed doors. 

“That has been a positive thing; we’re sing more representation,” Lewis said. “Companies that would not have allowed diversity at their table are currently having diversity in their board rooms [and at the] executive level.” 

Chauvin will stand trial with jury selection set to begin Monday.



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