Following ex-police officer, Derek Chauvin's, guilty verdict, statues of George Floyd have appeared all over America. However, they haven't always been met with admiration.
George Floyd's latest sculpture has been vandalized once again in the worst way...
Now, it's been over 4 months since George Floyd's killer was brought to justice...
The officer charged with the murder of George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, was put on trial in Minneapolis at the Hennepin County Courthouse on March 29th.
According to the Daily Mail, the prosecution started proceedings by playing the horrifying video of the moment the accused, Derek Chauvin, dug his knee into George Floyd's neck as he cried out, "I can't breathe."
As the trial of Derek Chauvin begins, my thoughts are with the Floyd family and every American impacted by racist p… https://t.co/VS7xyG75Tz— George Takei (@George Takei) 1617063128.0
Special prosecutor Jerry Blackwell told the jury in his opening statement:
"You can believe your eyes. That it's homicide, it's murder."
Over the course of the trial, many people were called forward to testify...
Including a 911 operator who witnessed the ordeal via CCTV.
"You're going to learn that there was a 911 dispatcher. Her name is Jena Scurry," Blackwell told the jury. "There was a fixed police camera that was trained on this particular scene. She could see through the camera what was going on."
Scurry witnessed the entire ordeal...
And was the one to call the police on the police.
Fearing that Chauvin and the 3 other officers who stood by were taking things too far, Scurry called Minneapolis Sgt. David Pleoger, who oversaw the officers involved in the arrest in progress.
"You will learn that what she saw was so unusual and, for her, so disturbing that she did something that she had never done in her career."
As prosecutors played the police camera video of Floyd on the ground, Scurry explained:
"My instincts were telling me something was wrong. It was a gut instinct of the incident: Something is not going right. Whether it be they needed more assistance. Just something wasn't right."
Never-before-seen bodycam footage from the events of May 25th was also presented to the jury...
And gave fresh details of the minutes leading up to Floyd's arrest, as well as the moment he was confronted by the police officers.
As reported by BBC News, the court was shown bodycam footage from Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, all of whom faced aiding and abetting charges.
In the footage, Floyd can be seen sitting behind the wheel of his car, begging the officers not to shoot him.
At one point, one of the officers pulls his gun as Floyd continues to plead with them.
Floyd was visibly very distressed by the presence of the police officers, and can be heard saying:
"Please don't shoot me, please, man… I just lost my mom."
He can then be heard trying to assure the officers that he'll "do anything you tell me to"...
"I'm not a bad guy, man."
Of course, the footage was utterly chilling to watch...
And days on from that revelation, the prosecution called an outside expert witness to testify about Floyd's cause of death.
Prosecutors say that Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck contributed to his death...
While Chauvin's defense argued that Floyd's use of illicit drugs and his underlying medical conditions were the key factors.
Dr. Martin Tobin, a pulmonary and critical medicine doctor with forty-five years of experience in the field also testified...
And he wholeheartedly supported the theory that Floyd was killed as a result of Chauvin's pressure on his neck.
Dr. Tobin confirmed that Floyd died due to a low level of oxygen caused by the combination of being handcuffed in the prone position on the ground...
And Chauvin's left knee on his neck and right knee on his back, compromising his ability to breathe.
"Mr. Floyd died from a low level of oxygen, and this caused damage to his brain that we see, and it also caused a PEA arrhythmia that caused his heart to stop."
The jury was also shown an image where Chauvin's toe was seen lifted off the ground while his knee was on Floyd's neck.
“The toe of his boot is no longer touching the ground, this means that all of his body weight is being directed dow… https://t.co/8Zjyw5EtNP— Omar Jimenez (@Omar Jimenez) 1617895882.0
This meant 91.5 pounds, half of Chauvin's weight, was directly compressing Floyd's neck at that point, Dr.Tobin said.
The evidence continued to stack up against Chauvin...
And, clearly in panic mode, his defense continued to stress that Floyd had already put himself at risk by swallowing drugs and resisting officers trying to arrest him - factors that compounded his vulnerability to a diseased heart, raising sufficient doubt that Chauvin should be acquitted.
Then on April 15th, Chauvin spoke for the first time.
He invoked his Fifth Amendment right to not risk making self-incriminating statements, laying to rest speculation over whether or not he would take the stand.
It was the only time Chauvin's voice was heard in court, other than in videos played to the jury of him kneeling on Floyd.
Chauvin's lawyer, Eric Nelson, questioned him about his decision on testifying, mentioning that they had spoken multiple times about whether Chauvin should testify in a "lengthy meeting."
"Have you made a decision today whether you intend to testify or whether you intend to invoke your Fifth Amendment privilege?" Nelson asked.
"I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege today," Chauvin replied.
However, despite his defence's best efforts...
Things didn't go in Chauvin's favor.
Because on April 20th, Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd.
The jury found the former police officer guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
Millions from all around the world tuned in to witness the live footage of Judge Peter Cahill reading out Chauvin's guilty verdict...
And the ex-cop was seen sitting motionlessly and calm as the verdicts were read out.
After the judge made his call, Chauvin was taken away in handcuffs...
After he was sentenced to twenty-two years and 6 months behind bars, offering Floyd's family some comfort knowing justice has finally been served.
Now, since the murder verdict was announced, many tributes for George Floyd have been spotted around America...
On Wednesday, the city of Newark, NJ, unveiled a memorial statue of George Floyd. According to officials, the 700-lb statue will reside in front of Newark City Hall for at least a year. pic.twitter.com/qyzO3d0tfd— NowThis (@nowthisnews) June 17, 2021
One statue of Floyd was erected in Newark, New Jersey depicting Floyd in the outfit he was wearing when he was murdered by Chauvin.
The 700-pound bronze statue was unveiled back in June...
Today Mayor @rasjbaraka unveiled a donated statue honoring George Floyd in front of City Hall, alongside Filmmaker Leon Pickney, Artist Stanley Watts, Activist Larry Hamm and more pic.twitter.com/nefig7fruE— City of Newark (@CityofNewarkNJ) June 16, 2021
And officials have said the installation will remain in front of Newark City Hall for at least a year in an attempt to remind people to fight against racial injustice.
But now, a more permanent statue has been unveiled in New York City to honor Floyd...
The bronze bust was erected on September 30th in Union Square.
His statue was unveiled along with busts of Rep John Lewis and Breonna Taylor...
However, just forty-eight hours after Floyd's sculpture was revealed, upsetting footage was posted online, showing a man defacing his statue and fleeing from the scene.
According to NBC news, blue paint was thrown on the sculpture at around 10 AM by the vandal...
But sadly, this isn't the first time it has been defaced.
Not long after the same statue had been put on display in Brooklyn, it was covered with black paint and branded with the mark of a white supremacist group.
#BREAKING: an organizer from the non profit We are Floyd tells me the George Floyd statue in Union Square was vandalized. It was also vandalized at its former home in Brooklyn. @NY1 pic.twitter.com/H8LUM94dFU— Shannan Ferry (@ShannanFerry) October 3, 2021
When Floyd's brother, Terrence, heard of the vandalism, he told NBC News: "I heard the news about the vandalism. I was so proud that I got word that Flatbush held it down. They really supported us, looked out for the statue, looked out for the spirit of my brother. You try to stop us, but you can't stop us. And we're still going to continue, with love."
Just like the last time, people have come together to clean the statue, spending hours scrubbing off paint with brushes, as per ABC7NY...
Andrew Cohen, who was part of the group that helped make the statue, told NBC News: "The only method that worked was really, really putting the elbow grease into it."
The NYPD has reviewed security footage, which showed the man in question mixing the paint before throwing it over the bust of Floyd, and leaving the area on a skateboard.
On 10/3/21, at approx. 10:15 AM, in Union Square Park, a person on a skateboard threw gray paint on the face and base of a statue of George Floyd. Info? DM @NYPDTips or ☎️ 1-800-577-TIPS. @NYPDShea @NYPDDetectives @NYPDPBMS @NYPD13Pct @NYCParks @mayorsCAU pic.twitter.com/PxNQs1u6mw— NYPD Hate Crimes (@NYPDHateCrimes) October 4, 2021
We hope the police can find the vandal responsible and that he pays for his despicable actions.