Beyoncé has joined the ranks of celebrities asking for “justice” for George Floyd, the Minneapolis man who died Monday after a police officer pushed his knee into Floyd’s neck, constricting his breathing. Anger over the responses of politicians and authorities to Floyd’s death has sparked protests all across the country over the past week.
“We need justice for George Floyd,” Beyoncé said in a video posted to her Instagram Friday night. “We all witnessed his murder in broad daylight. We’re broken and we’re disgusted. We cannot normalize this pain. I’m not only speaking to people of color. If you’re white, black, brown, or anything in between, I’m sure you feel hopeless by the racism going on in America right now. No more senseless killings of human beings. No more seeing people of color as less than human. We can no longer look away.”
The Grammy winner added: “George is all of our family, and humanity. He’s our family because he’s a fellow American. There have been too many times that we’ve seen these violent killings, and no consequences. Yes, someone’s been charged, but justice is far from being achieved. Please sign the petition and continue to pray for peace, compassion and healing for our country.”
“If you want to demand more charges brought on all those involved in the death of George Floyd, click the link in my bio to sign the petition,” the singer captioned her video, with a link that sends you to petitions by Change.org, Color of Change, We Can’t Breathe, and the NAACP.
Floyd, a black man, was arrested by Minneapolis police Monday after an employee at a convenience store called authorities to say he suspected Floyd of passing a counterfeit $20 bill.
During Floyd’s arrest, white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes, an act that was caught on video by a bystander. In the clip, Floyd can be heard asking officers to let him breathe but is not shown to be resisting. Paramedics were called to the scene, where they found Floyd to be unresponsive. He was later pronounced dead.
Chauvin has since been fired by the Minneapolis police, arrested and charged with third-degree murder in connection to Floyd’s death. The three other officers who were involved in Floyd’s arrest have not been arrested or charged, though they were also fired.
Protests in response to Floyd’s death have broken out this week in Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta, among other cities across the United States.
On Friday, the Los Angeles Police Department declared the city’s protests an “unlawful assembly” after clashes between protestors and police. On Saturday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced that the state’s National Guard has been “fully” mobilized in response to the demonstrations, which he says have turned into “wanton destruction and chaos” and “made a mockery” of Floyd’s death.
Watch Beyonce’s video below.