BLACK LIVES MATTER
9×12 original on 160 pound, cold-pressed watercolor paper
© May 26, 2020
On May 25, Minneapolis police officers arrest a 46-year-old black man, George Floyd, after a deli employee accuses him of buying cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. Seventeen minutes after the first squad car arrives at the scene, Floyd is unconscious and pinned beneath three police officers, showing no signs of life. Eventually, it is determined that officers took a series of actions that violated the policies of the Minneapolis Police Department and turned fatal, leaving Mr. Floyd unable to breathe, even as he and onlookers called out for help.
The day after Mr. Floyd’s death, the Police Department fires all four of the officers involved in the episode, and the Hennepin County attorney announces murder and manslaughter charges against Derek Chauvin, the white officer who kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
While this is not the first time a black man has been killed by police, the fact that this murder is caught on film in broad daylight — and the fact that none of the other police officers intervene to help Floyd — sparks outrage across the United States about how racism is a pandemic inside the COVID19 pandemic.