George Floyd protesters are turning the new fence surrounding the White House into a memorial site, dedicated to the Black men and women who have died at the hands of police and racist violence. Over the weekend, protesters hung artwork of Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others, as well as Black Lives Matter signs, along the 8-foot-tall fence.
Protests have continued in the Washington D.C. area — and nationwide — in the weeks following Floyd’s death. The 46-year-old died after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled down on his neck for over eight minutes, despite his pleas for air. Both the Hennepin County Medical Examiner and an independent autopsy ruled Floyd’s death as a homicide. Furthermore, the independent report noted that the cause of his death was asphyxiation from “sustained pressure” on his “neck and back.”
Chauvin has since been charged with second-degree murder, while the three other officers involved in the incident have also been arrested and charged with aiding and abetting a murder.
“This is a bittersweet moment for the family of George Floyd,” Floyd’s family’s attorney Benjamin Crump responded to the charges in a statement. “We are deeply gratified that Attorney General Keith Ellison took decisive action in this case, arresting and charging all the officers involved in George Floyd’s death and upgrading the charge against Derek Chauvin to felony second-degree murder.”
“This is a significant step forward on the road to justice and we are gratified that this important action was brought before George Floyd’s body was laid to rest,” Crump continued. “That is a source of peace for George’s family in this painful time.”
The first of three memorial services for Floyd took place in Minneapolis last Thursday (June 4) and was helmed by Rev. Al Sharpton. On Saturday (June 6), an additional service was held in Raeford, North Carolina. The final public memorial service is scheduled to take place in Texas today (June 8) and will be followed by a private funeral of Floyd’s family on Tuesday (June 9).
See some images of the new White House fence below.