MINNEAPOLIS — A candlelight vigil to honor the memory of George Floyd at the intersection where he died was among the remembrances scheduled Wednesday for the two-year anniversary of the black man’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
Activists planned the vigil, as well as a rally at the governor’s residence in St. Paul, for the second anniversary of Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, which sparked protests in Minneapolis and around the world as the video of bystanders was spreading rapidly.
The intersection of 38th and Chicago streets became known informally as George Floyd Square following his death, with a large sculpture of a clenched fist as the centerpiece of the memorials. The city planned to unveil a street sign officially dubbing the corner George Perry Floyd Square just before the vigil, with Floyd’s brother Terrence among the attendees.
Subsequent events include a gathering on Thursday of families of loved ones who died in interactions with police and a fundraising gala on Friday aimed at raising funds to preserve offerings left by protesters and mourners at the intersection where Floyd was killed.
A one-day festival and a concert at the crossroads were also planned for Saturday.
Floyd, 46, died after Officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, pinned his knee to Floyd’s neck for 9½ minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and pleaded he couldn’t breathe.
Chauvin is serving 22 and a half years in prison after being convicted of murder and manslaughter last year. The ex-officer also pleaded guilty to violating Floyd’s civil rights in a federal case, where he now faces a sentence ranging from 20 to 25 years.
Former officers J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao are due to stand trial on state charges in June. Thomas Lane pleaded guilty last week to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter for his role in Floyd’s murder, months after the three former officers were found guilty in February of federal charges of willful violation of Floyd’s rights.