George Floyd died this week after a Minneapolis police officer forcefully kneeled on his neck during his arrest

By Jason Duaine Hahn
May 28, 2020 08:23 PM
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A GoFundMe campaign to help the family of George Floyd, a black man who died this week after a white Minneapolis police officer forcefully kneeled on his neck during his arrest, has surpassed $1 million in under a day.

The donation page — created by Floyd’s sibling, Philonise Floyd — attracted more than 50,000 donations as of Thursday afternoon, bringing its total to more than $1.156 million.

"My family and I watched in absolute horror as the now infamous and horrifying video began to spread quickly throughout social media," Philonise wrote in a description on the page.

"What we saw on that tape left us shell shocked; a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling directly on my brother's neck, obstructing his ability to breathe," she continued. "As some officers knelt on his neck, other officers participated and watched; no one took any action to save my brother's life. Those officers would continue to brutalize my brother until he died."

Philonise said the campaign will help the family cover Floyd's funeral and burial expenses, as well as help them "as we continue to seek justice for George."

Floyd's death on Monday quickly sparked outrage and led to protests across the country. The tragedy also led to the firing of four Minneapolis police officers on Tuesday when a video of the incident went viral on social media.

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Before the video gained national attention, police had characterized Floyd's death as being the result of a "medical incident."

In the footage, Floyd is seen lying on his stomach next to a Minneapolis patrol car as one of the officers kneels on his neck.

"Please, please, please, I can't breathe," Floyd struggles to tell the officers. "My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Please, please, I can't breathe."

Bystanders watching the incident plead for the officer to stand up. But a second officer deflects those comments and then appears to mock Floyd by saying, "This is why you don't do drugs, kids."

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In a Wednesday press conference, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called for charges against the white officer who put his knee on the neck of Floyd. He also asserted that Floyd's race played a part in his death.

"He'd be alive today if he were white," Frey said of Floyd, according to CBS News. "I'm not a prosecutor, but let me be clear, the arresting officer killed someone."