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The Canadian Press

Rallies, moments of silence honor George Floyd a year later

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A family-friendly street festival, musical performances and moments of silence were held on Tuesday to honor George Floyd and mark the year since his death at the hands of Minneapolis Police, a death captured in a heartbreaking video of spectator who galvanized the racial. movement for justice and continues to make calls for change. Floyd’s sister, Bridgett, and other family members held a moment of silence during a “Celebration of Life” event in a downtown Minneapolis park that included music, truckloads, food, a bouncy house and a vaccination stand. A few miles away, at the site of the intersection where Floyd died, dozens of people knelt around a steel fist sculpture for several minutes – symbolizing the 9 minutes and 29 seconds that Floyd had been immobilized. “It’s been a troubling year, a long year,” Bridgett Floyd told the downtown crowd. “But we did. … Love is there. George is here. Other members of Floyd’s family met with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington, who urged Congress to quickly pass legislation in Floyd’s name that would bring about changes in policing. of silence to honor Floyd was also A rally was held in New York and a rally was held in Los Angeles. Around the world, a rally was held in Germany and Floyd’s death was marked by US embassies in Greece and Spain. Hours before the Minneapolis festivities, the intersection where Floyd died was disrupted by gunfire. An Associated Press video of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue – informally known as of George Floyd Square – showed people running for cover as gunshots rang out. Police said a man, who they said was injured in the shooting, traveled to a nearby hospital with a gunshot wound. Police said he was in critical condition but had to survive. There was no immediate arrest. Philip Crowther, a reporter for AP Global Media Services, which provides live video coverage, reported hearing as many as 30 gunshots about a block from the intersection. Crowther said a store window appeared to have been shattered by gunfire. “Very quickly, things got back to normal,” Crowther said. “The people here who spend a lot of time, the organizers, were running around asking, ‘Does anyone need a doctor?’“ Like other big cities, Minneapolis has been struggling with the rise gun violence, a problem compounded, in part, by many of the officers who have left the besieged force since Floyd’s death. A 6-year-old girl was fatally shot and two other children have been injured in recent weeks. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey last week unveiled broad public safety proposals to address the issue. Other groups are pursuing a more radical overhaul of the police department. The intersection of 38th and Chicago was barricaded shortly after Floyd’s death. It quickly turned into a memorial – and also a difficult place for the city, with the police not always welcome. The square was transformed into an open-air festival on Tuesday, with food, children’s activities and music. Sometimes people were dancing in the street. Works of art and signs of demonstrations after Floyd’s death were also on display. A group hosted an open mic next to a greenhouse that community members built earlier this year to house flowers left behind by mourners. Nearby, a brass band was playing for passers-by. The celebration also included a candlelight vigil, crowning several days of marches, rallies and panel discussions on his death and the fight against racial discrimination. Xavier Simmons, 24, of Racine, Wisconsin, chanted “Say his name!” as the people knelt. Simmons said he hopes those taking part in the festivities will honor both Floyd’s life and legacy and continue to “uplift and empower this movement.” “We got the verdict we needed, but that will never change until we make a change.” “You keep doing the job, because you are going to change the world,” Common, an award-winning rapper, actor and activist told hundreds of people during a musical performance Tuesday night after the vigil. left the stage and day turned to night in George Floyd Square, people placed candles in every corner imaginable, lighting up the area. Floyd, 46, who was black, died on May 25, 2020, after then-officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck, pinning him to the ground for about 9 and a half minutes. Chauvin, who is Caucasian, was convicted of murder last month and is facing conviction on June 25. Three other dismissed police officers are still on trial. Earl Vaughn, 20, of Minneapolis, attended the downtown event and said despite its festive atmosphere: “For all of this a black man had to die, so it’s such a shame. In New York, elected officials including Mayor Bill de Blasio and US Representative Hakeem Jeffries joined Reverend Al Sharpton in kneeling for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. “As we took one knee, imagine how many time it stayed on a human’s neck, “Sharpton said.” I never changed knees, just dug. Time to correct the police in this country. ” On Tuesday evening, activists and protesters gathered with families of those who died in interactions with the New York Police Department at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. They called for the removal of police funding, for accountability police and police withdrawal from schools. After the rally, they marched through the streets of Brooklyn. Several members of the Floyd family, including his young daughter Gianna, met Biden and Harris earlier Tuesday. Biden, who previously pledged to continue to fight for racial justice, said he hoped the Senate could quickly pass the George Floyd Law Enforcement Justice Act and forward it to his office. ” We have to act, ”he said of legislation that would ban strangling and smooth raids and create a national registry for officers sanctioned for serious misconduct. Floy’s brother d, Philonise, told CNN he thought of George “all the time.” “My sister called me at 12 o’clock last night and said, ‘This is the day our brother left us,'” he said, adding, “I think things have changed. . I think it is moving slowly but we are making progress. Also on Tuesday, the US Senate voted to confirm Kristen Clarke as assistant attorney general for civil rights, the first black woman to hold the post. In recent weeks, the Biden Department of Justice has announced extensive investigations into the Minneapolis and Louisville police, and has launched federal civil rights lawsuits against officers involved in Floyd’s death. Separately, the Floyd family announced the launch of a fund that will provide grants to neighborhood businesses and community organizations, as well as larger grants “encouraging the success and growth of black citizens and community harmony.” The money comes from $ 500,000 earmarked as part of the city’s $ 27 million civil settlement for the Floyd family. ___ Associated Press editor Amy Forliti and Deepti Hajela in New York contributed to this report. ___ Find AP’s full coverage of George Floyd’s death at: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-george-floyd Mohamed Ibrahim and Doug Glass, The Associated Press