Published: 25th May 2021
#ThrowbackToday: The choking of George Floyd and how it became the tipping point for #BLM protests
In today's #TBT, we talk about the murder of George Floyd which led to conversations around racism, police brutality and discrimination yet again. Only this time, with some serious consequences...
The words, "I can't breathe" became a chant ever since they became the last words of Eric Garner, an African-American man caught in a chokehold of New York City Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo in 2014. Garner was known as a "neighborhood peacemaker" and he met his death for selling cigarettes illegally. But the real reason was clear to anyone who is familiar with the history of police violence in the US — racial discrimination.
Years later, on May 25, 2020 to be exact, another African-American met the same fate. Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin had George Floyd in a chokehold between his knee and the ground while the latter kept repeating the same words until he passed away. Want to know why he was arrested in the first place? On the charge of using a counterfeit $20 bill. What's more chilling is the whole gruelling moment was recorded on video for the world to see. The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been found guilty of murder.
READ ALSO: Omaha high school students face disciplinary action for Floyd death reenactment
The words "I can't breathe" became central to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, a hashtag that can be traced back to the year 2013, which erupted all over the world. It had been brewing for some time but the murder of George Floyd became the tipping point. Their work towards getting justice and equality for the community is so large that the Black Lives Matter movement was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year.