Timeline of George Floyd and national protests

Residents honored the life of George Floyd with a mural in Minneapolis, the city where Floyd lived and was murdered.


Residents honored the life of George Floyd with a mural in Minneapolis, the city where Floyd lived and was murdered.

May 25 – In Minneapolis, Minnesota, George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, is accused of buying a pack of cigarettes with a counterfeit bill at a local market. After short deliberation, the store owners call the police. Officers J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane pull Floyd out of his vehicle and restrain him. Soon after, they bring Floyd to the other side of the street, where officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao are waiting for him. Derek Chauvin, an police officer for 18 years from the Minneapolis Police Department with multiple complaints including aggravated assault and excessive force during an arrest, kneels on Floyd’s neck and torso. During this time, Floyd, who was known for being claustrophobic, says “I can’t breathe,” but Chauvin does not adjust his position. After eight minutes and 46 seconds of constraining Floyd’s neck and torso, an ambulance finally arrives, but by this time, Floyd shows no signs of breathing or any physical response. Floyd is lifted into the ambulance, where he suffers a cardiac arrest and is pronounced dead at the Hennepin County Medical Center. (CNN, BBC (2))

May 26 – Videos of Floyd’s murder emerge on social media platforms. Hundreds of Minneapolis residents flood the streets to protest the murder. In response to some violent outbreaks, the Minneapolis Police Department fires rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowds, escalating the situation. 230 people are arrested for vandalizing and looting local businesses. All four of the officers involved in Floyd’s arrest are fired without any criminal charges. (BBC, CNN)

May 27 – In several major U.S cities including Los Angeles, Memphis and Portland, organized protests erupt over the recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. On February 23 in Brunswick, Georgia, 25-year-old unarmed Arbery was shot and killed by Travis and Gregory McMichael while jogging through the neighborhood. On March 13 in Louisville, Kentucky, the police attempted to serve an arrest warrant Kenneth Walker. Shots were exchanged. In the exchange, eight rounds hit Breonna Taylor, Walker’s girlfriend, leaving fatal wounds. The protests continue that night in Minneapolis, with thousands more joining the movement. The protestors in Minneapolis gather around the third precinct, demanding murder charges for all four involved officers, and eventually, because of the increasing pressure and violence, the police officers evacuate the precinct. (BBC, CNN)

26-year-old Taylor was shot and killed by the police in response to the police serving a warrant on her boyfriend.

May 28 – In Minneapolis, Governor Tim Walz activates the National Guard, citing the violence and looting of the city as events unrelated to the death of George Floyd. The National Guard, moves into the city in an attempt to calm the protests and violence. (NY Times, ABC News)

May 29 – After four days of protesting, former officer Derek Chauvin is arrested and may face a maximum of 35 years in prison for third-degree murder and second degree manslaughter. Many are outraged, claiming the charge on Chauvin should be raised to second or first-degree murder and that the other three officers involved should be charged. (NY Times, CNN)

May 29 – President Trump makes his first public statement regarding the death of Floyd, tweeting, “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Despite the president’s reaction, protests proceed throughout the city. (NY Times, President Trump Twitter)

May 29 – As protests in Atlanta and New York City become more violent, confrontations between the police and those involved become more frequent. In Washington D.C, protestors gather at the front of the White House demanding federal reform to address recent civil rights violations. For the first time since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the President is led into the Presidential Emergency Operations Center and the lights are shut down. Many leaders in the Black Lives Matter movement criticize President Trump’s actions for hiding during this national crisis. (NY Times)

May 31 – With over 4,400 people arrested and 75 cities seeing active protests every night, many mayors activate the National Guard and establish strict curfews for their cities, which are widely ignored. Governor Walz announces attorney general Keith Ellison will take over the prosecution’s case in Floyd’s death. (ABC News, BBC)

June 1 – On the sixth night of the national protests, across the country, six protestors are killed. President Trump orders the National Guard to clear the area using crowd control and tear gas before he walks to a nearby church to pose. Shortly after, Trump tweeted he would potentially deploy the military in states that are unable to control the violence and protests accordingly, which he has not done yet, as of June 6. Additionally, an independent autopsy by Floyd’s legal team determined his death was a homicide and caused by cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression. The autopsy revealed Floyd had fentanyl, a opioid, in his system, but that the drug did not contribute to his sudden death. (BBC, NY Times)

June 2 – The Minnesota Department of Human Rights files a civil rights violation against the arrest of George Floyd and a larger investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department. The investigation will examine the violations and problematic racial practices of the department and the officers over the past ten years. (ABC News)

June 3 – The other three officers involved in Floyd’s arrest are criminally charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter, which means they are accused of supporting Chauvin in committing the murder. Chauvin, who was originally charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter by the county prosecutors, was upgraded to second-degree murder and manslaughter after deliberation with state and federal officials. (ABC News, CNN)

June 4 – In Minneapolis, citizens mourn George Floyd by holding a moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds––the exact time that Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd’s neck. The protests across the country continue. (BBC)

June 5 – In Brookline, Massachusetts, hundreds of protestors march from Cassidy Park to Amory Park, demanding action for the frequent incidents of racial prejudice that occurred in the past month. Peaceful protests also happen in cities and towns in the greater Boston area. (Boston 25 News)