MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A candlelight vigil to honor George Floyd’s memory at the intersection where he died was among the remembrances scheduled for Wednesday’s second anniversary of the Black man’s killing at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
Activists planned the vigil, along with a rally at the governor’s residence in St. Paul, for the two-year anniversary of Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, which ignited protests in Minneapolis and around the world as bystander video quickly spread.
The intersection of 38th and Chicago streets became known informally as George Floyd Square in the wake of his death, with a large sculpture of a clenched fist as the centerpiece of memorials. The city planned to unveil a street sign officially dubbing the corner George Perry Floyd Square just ahead of the vigil, with Floyd’s brother Terrence among those attending.
Later events include a Thursday gathering of families of loved ones who have died in interactions with police and a fundraising gala Friday aimed at raising money to preserve offerings left by protesters and mourners at the intersection where Floyd was killed.
An all-day festival and a concert at the intersection were also planned for Saturday.
Floyd, 46, died after Officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, pinned his knee on Floyd’s neck for 9 1/2 minutes as Floyd was handcuffed and pleaded that he couldn’t breathe.
Chauvin is serving 22 1/2 years in prison after being convicted of state charges of murder and manslaughter last year. The ex-officer also pleaded guilty to violating Floyd’s civil rights in a federal case, where he now faces a sentence ranging from 20 to 25 years.
Former officers J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao are scheduled to stand trial on state charges in June. Thomas Lane pleaded guilty last week to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter for his role in Floyd’s killing, months after all three former Officers were convicted in February of federal charges of willfully violating Floyd’s rights.
Mohamed Ibrahim is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.