"You deserve our tears, our prayers, our rage, our action. We must act," wrote Ava Duvernay

By Benjamin VanHoose
May 27, 2020 09:02 AM
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Celebrities are honoring the life George Floyd, the Minneapolis man who died after being restrained by police.

On Tuesday, four Minneapolis police officers were fired for their involvement in the death of Floyd, after footage circulated online showing one of the officers placing his knee firmly on the back of the 46-year-old man's neck as he lies face down on his stomach, next to a Minneapolis patrol car.

The man groans in pain throughout the nine-minute clip, and repeatedly asks for help. He tells the officers that he cannot breathe and notes that "everything hurts." Bystanders who shot the video tell the officers that they can see the man's nose bleeding.

"This is the right call," tweeted Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey about the termination of the officers following the Monday incident.

Floyd's death is currently being investigated by the FBI. Police had characterized the man's death in a statement as being the result of a "medical incident" before the video was shared widely on social media.

As protesters called for justice in rallies on Tuesday night, dozens of celebrities and public figures showed their support for Floyd and his family.

Chance the Rapper, Ava Duvernay and Demi Lovato
Paras Griffin/Getty Images; Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic; Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

"You deserved your breath, your dignity, your life. Not to die in the street, murdered by a white cop’s knee on your neck," wrote Selma director Ava Duvernay on Twitter. "You deserve our tears, our prayers, our rage, our action. We must act - for you - and for all of those were no cameras are present. We must. #GeorgeFloyd."

Kim Kardashian shared a simple statement on Twitter featuring an illustration of Floyd and the hashtag, "#JusticeForGeorgeFloyd" and a broken heart emoji.

Chance the Rapper spoke at a rally in Chicago, reportedly telling gatherers, "We're not going to let this s--- keep happening."

On Instagram, singer Demi Lovato called for white people to stand up against police brutality.

"This is not okay. And it will not stop until everyone does their part. Especially white people," the "Anyone" singer, 27, wrote. "I said it recently and I’ll say it again, do not let your discomfort surrounding social issues prevent you from speaking up for those IN DANGER. And reality is, until this STOPS COMPLETELY - THE BLACK COMMUNITY WILL CONTINUE TO LIVE IN DANGER."

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Lovato added: "DO YOUR PART. THIS INVOLVES YOU TOO. #GeorgeFloyd, I hope you RIP because it isn’t fair so many didn’t do their part to ensure you lived in peace."

Naomi Campbell also shared her sentiments on Twitter, writing that she is "sick and tired" of "people dying needlessly."

"I don’t have the words. I’m sick and tired of this, tired of being sad about our people dying needlessly," Campbell, 50, wrote. "Harassed and humiliated in these challenging times, I thought we could come to together, but it seems like this Coronavirus has bought out more racism in a major way."

"Where does it end?" she added. "I’m black and I’m proud #JUSTICEFORFLOYD"

"This just burns," tweeted Star Wars actor John Boyega. "Seems to be a never ending cycle. The murderers need to be charged severely. Even in the face of death this man was given zero empathy. #RIPGeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatter #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd"

Floyd's family spoke to CNN on Tuesday night, condemning law enforcement for how they handled their loved one in his final moments.

"They were supposed to be there to serve and to protect and I didn't see a single one of them lift a finger to do anything to help while he was begging for his life," said Tera Brown, Floyd's cousin. "Not one of them tried to do anything to help him."