The Weeknd is supporting protestors in the continued fight for justice for George Floyd. On Monday (June 1), the After Hours singer encouraged those with “deep pockets” to “give big” amidst nationwide protestors for police reform and shared his own hefty donation — totaling $500,000 — to several organizations.
“Keep supporting our brothers and sisters out there risking everything to push for actual change for our black lives,” he wrote on Instagram. “Urging everyone with big pockets to give and give big and if you have less please give what you can even if it’s a small amount. #blacklivesmatter.”
A series of posts revealed that The Weeknd donated $200,000 to the Black Lives Matter Global Network, $200,000 to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights campaign and an additional $100,000 to the National Bail Out Fund, which provides bail money for protesters who have been arrested. The Weeknd also shared a link to Kaepernick’s campaign and the National Bail Out Fund on his Instagram Story, in order to encourage his followers to donate.
The news arrives after Kaepernick announced that his Know Your Rights campaign would offer to pay the legal fees for those who have been arrested while protesting.
“In fighting for liberation there‘s always retaliation,” he tweeted on Friday (May 29). “We must protect our Freedom Fighters. We started a legal defense initiative to give legal representation to Freedom Fighters in Minneapolis paid for by @yourrightscamp.”
Drake also recently donated $100,000 to the National Bail Out Fund. Several hip hop celebrities and supporters have also donated to The Minneapolis Freedom Fund, which offers bail assistance for Minneapolis protestors.
Last Monday (May 25), Floyd was killed in police custody after ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin restrained him by kneeling down on his neck for over eight minutes, despite Floyd’s pleas for air. Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday (May 29). However, the other three officers who also helped Chauvin to restrain Floyd have not yet been arrested.
On Monday (June 1) an independent autopsy revealed Floyd’s cause of death to be asphyxiation from sustained pressure. The results contradicted those found by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, which claimed underlying health issues had contributed to Floyd’s death.