Exactly one year ago on May 25, 2020, former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin pinned George Floyd to the ground with his knee pressed on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds, despite Floyd saying multiple times that he could not breathe. Floyd’s death sparked a wave of protests around the world in the summer of 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Protesters marched in major cities, calling for racial justice and renewing passionate support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
On April 20, 2021, a jury convicted Chauvin of murdering Floyd, ending a three-week trial that became the focus of public attention and media scrutiny. Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. The charges carry maximum sentences ranging from 10-40 years in prison. The jury deliberated for roughly 10 hours before coming to the verdict.
An outpouring of support for the verdict erupted on social media and in demonstrations around the country. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the country from the White House after the verdict, calling it “a giant step forward in the march towards justice in America.” They also called Floyd’s family to express their support.
Many Hollywood figures took to Twitter after the verdict to show joy, relief, love for Floyd’s family and determination to continue the fight for racial justice. A year later on the anniversary of Floyd’s death, many people are paying tribute and remembering his life. Several marches, vigils and virtual events are being planned to honor Floyd as well.
“George Floyd was murdered one year ago today,” wrote former President Barack Obama on Twitter. “Since then, hundreds more Americans have died in encounters with police — parents, sons, daughters, friends taken from us far too soon. But the last year has also given us reasons to hope.”
George Floyd was murdered one year ago today. Since then, hundreds more Americans have died in encounters with police—parents, sons, daughters, friends taken from us far too soon. But the last year has also given us reasons to hope.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 25, 2021
Kerry Washington wrote, “The 1 year anniversary of #GeorgeFloyd’s murder is a reminder that for some, the issue became clear 1 year ago. For many of us, Black lives have never NOT mattered.”
The 1 year anniversary of #GeorgeFloyd’s murder is a reminder that for some, the issue became clear 1 year ago. For many of us, Black Lives have never NOT mattered. If U R new to this, stay in the fight 🙏🏾 happy 1 year awakening. If U R not new to this, sending ❤️. Today & always
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) May 25, 2021
Jimmy Kimmel also took to Twitter to remember Floyd and promote organizations fighting for racial justice, including the NAACP, George Floyd Memorial Foundation and Black Visions.
“A year after the murder of George Floyd, we have done little to stop it from happening again,” Kimmel wrote. “Please support these organizations and their work to bring equal justice to all.”
A year after the murder of George Floyd, we have done little to stop it from happening again. Please support these organizations and their work to bring equal justice to all. @NAACP @GFMFoundation @BlackVisionsMN
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) May 25, 2021
Oprah Winfrey also commemorated Floyd on social media, writing, “A year ago today we didn’t know his name, but now it’s forever etched in our consciousness.”
A year ago today we didn’t know his name, but now it’s forever etched in our consciousness: #GeorgeFloyd.
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) May 25, 2021
See more tweets below:
May 25. A day to remember George Floyd and the sacrifice he made a year ago. The long history of racial inequity, oppression, and injustice was brought to light once again because of his death. Conversations around these issues have evolved, but there’s still progress to be made. pic.twitter.com/yik0YRvyOy
— Don Lemon (@donlemon) May 25, 2021
To John Lewis, the effects of the protests following George Floyd’s murder were clear.
“People will never, ever forget what happened and how it happened,” he said. ”And it is my hope that we are on our way to greater change.”
That’s my hope too. Don’t stop pushing.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 25, 2021
Today, we honor George Floyd’s life and mourn with his family. One year after his murder, we remain dedicated to rooting out systemic racism and police violence against people of color, and building a nation free of oppression that respects the human dignity of every person.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 25, 2021
It’s been a year since those horrifying 8 minutes and 46 seconds stole George Floyd’s life. Today, I am thinking of this clip of his daughter Gianna, and all the young people out there who have seen so much, but refuse to give up hope. pic.twitter.com/VclaQksyso
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) May 25, 2021
The barbaric death of George Floyd changed the world ,as well as the many human beings who were also murdered at the hands of violent racist police officers .Black Lives Matter ,we will never forget. Rest in power Sir.
— ✌🏼rosanna arquette (@RoArquette) May 25, 2021
George Floyd should still be alive. I’m praying for his family as they carry the weight of today’s anniversary. And I’m committed to keeping up the fight to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act as a step towards cementing the unshakeable truth that Black Lives Matter.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) May 25, 2021
— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) May 25, 2021
One year ago today, the whole world watched as George Floyd took his last breaths. For 9 minutes and 29 seconds, he fought for his life. My heart is with the Floyd family today as they remember him. May our country honor him with real reform.
— Andrew Yang🧢🗽🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) May 25, 2021
Before his name became a hashtag, #GeorgeFloyd was a human being who mattered.
A brother, a father, a friend. A person.
I’m praying for his family today. pic.twitter.com/jxLFAnx82a
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) May 25, 2021
May 25th. One year since the murder of #GeorgeFloyd and still no National Police Reform Law.
Thinking of his little girl and those who loved him, today. pic.twitter.com/Du1thwJXVs
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) May 25, 2021