Two protests are slated to be held in Trenton this weekend to demand justice in the killing of George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man who died Monday after Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, knelt on his neck for several minutes while Floyd was handcuffed.
Floyd was not armed and was not resisting arrest. He told the police he couldn’t breathe as the officer continued to kneel on his neck. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
All four police officers who were at the scene have been fired and Chauvin has been charged with murder in the third degree. People across the country are calling on the authorities to arrest all four officers and charge Chauvin with murder in the first degree.
Floyd’s death has sparked protests across the country about racism and police brutality, and some of those protests have turned violent. In Brooklyn on Friday night, police could be seen in videos throwing protesters to the ground and beating them with clubs.
Protesters in Trenton will hold a solidarity march on State Street in front of the capitol building at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The event is being organized by a coalition of groups.
A second protest “Justice for George Floyd” is planned in Trenton from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
At his daily COVID-19 press briefing on Friday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy made a statement about Floyd’s death and the protests.
“George Floyd should be alive today, not just as a matter of principle or justice, but as a matter of human dignity, as a matter of our nation living up to one of our most basic founding ideals that all are created equal,” Murphy said.
“His life mattered as much as mine’s or my wife’s, or our kids’ or any of yours. We’ve seen these images before in New York, in Ferguson, in Baltimore, in countless other cities large and small. Too many times have we gotten a national wake-up call and then gone about doing nothing about it,” Murphy said. “We cannot just expect someone to be fired and that be the end of it. That’s a feel-good action that doesn’t solve a systemic problem, we need to dig a deeper well of accountability and responsibility. And we need to draw from it. Not just in Minneapolis, but from everywhere, including right here.”