8 Minutes and 46 Seconds: The Killing of George Floyd

One sweltering evening on the streets of Minneapolis, yet another black man falls victim to police brutality. The killing of George Floyd has sparked outrage not only across America but also across the entire world. It is the latest chapter in the history of racial injustice that is as old as the country itself. With the United States as divided as it has ever been what will it take for America and the rest of the world to guarantee that black lives really do matter.

George Floyd was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 1973. He grew up in Texas and moved to Minnesota where he worked as a truck driver and a security guard. A father of five, Mr. Floyd’s life was not much different from millions of his fellow Americans, but the nature of his death could change the course of history. On Monday evening 25th May 2020, in Minneapolis, four police officers have responded to a call alleging a man has just used a counterfeit $20 bill to buy a packet of cigarettes. As a result, George Floyd is arrested, handcuffed, and pinned to the ground by one of the officers.

The officer responsible for pinning Mr. Floyd to the ground is Derek Chauvin, he ignored the protests from onlookers, continuing to apply pressure on his neck. Officer Chauvin is an 18-year veteran of the police department, in that time over a dozen complaints had been lodged against him. In the video captured of this incident, we can clearly hear George Floyd state 16 times “I can’t breathe”, Chauvin is oblivious to his cries. Even when the paramedics arrive to assist a man clearly in distress Chauvin continues the chokehold, he had applied pressure to his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, and later that evening George is pronounced dead.

Within 24 hours the death of another black man in police custody unleashes a fury that has existed for generations. The killing of George Floyd brings both black and white demonstrators on the streets. In this film which is narrated by actor Idris Elba, we examine those terrible moments, the wave of global protest that followed, and ask whether what happened in Minneapolis will be a pivotal moment in the anti-racism movement or simply another death of a black man at the hands of a white police officer.


Directed by: Gilberte Phanor , Toby Sculthorp

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  1. Hello colleagues, pleasant paragraph and good urging commented
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  2. Police have always been out of control. I’m of Spanish decent, but live in 95% white populated area, had a gun drawn on me by police after returning home from 24 hour market bcuz I looked “suspuscious”. Problem is any nut, racist, person with a chip on thier shoulder can go to criminal justice for 2 years and now they are legal to terrorize any civilian. Police treating civilians with no respect is a problem in all races, white folk included. Any way to get action against police abuse of power is needed. Sad another man had to die to see action.

  3. 13% of the population committing 50% of crime, thats the real problem …