Crusader Staff Report
A GoFundMe page for George Floyd has raised more than $11 million in just five days. With protests around the world, the amount continues to grow at a rapid pace.
The campaign was started by Floyd’s brother, Philonise, and has attracted more than 425,000 donors as of June 2.
The page’s goal of $1.5 million was easily surpassed thanks to more than 391,000 donors who contributed a total of $10 million-plus as of early Tuesday afternoon.
The mass protests across the country in recent days in response to the death of George Floyd have also inspired people, charitable groups, community bail funds and Democratic candidates.
The Minnesota Freedom Fund, which pays bail for those who cannot afford it and received online support from some celebrities, took in a whopping $20 million in a matter of days — so much that its website was now encouraging donors to give elsewhere.
Floyd died on May 25 after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, pinned him to the ground with his knee press on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd cried out that he couldn’t breathe and fell unconscious as Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for three minutes while the man was unresponsive.
Before the arrest, police responded to a 911 call saying Floyd tried to purchase items with a counterfeit $20 bill at Cup Foods.
Days after Floyd’s death, Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder. The remaining three officers who watched Chauvin but did not stop him were also fired, but not charged. At Crusader press time the Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced charges against the other three police officers involved in the arrest and subsequent death of George Floyd. The now fired police officers Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder. Ellison also raised the third-degree murder charge against fired Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin to second-degree murder and manslaughter.
At the governor’s request, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison took over the prosecution from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.
This week, the family’s attorney released an independent autopsy report that concluded Floyd died from mechanical asphyxia and the manner of death was homicide.
As of Sunday, May 31, Chauvin was behind bars at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Oak Park Heights, roughly 25 miles east of Minneapolis.
The facility holds up to 473 inmates and “is the highest custody level” in the state’s correctional department. Chauvin remains on “suicide watch.”
On his GoFundMe page, his sister Philonise wrote “My family and I watched in absolute horror as the now infamous and horrifying video began to spread quickly throughout social media. 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.
“As some officers knelt on his neck, other officers participated and watch-
ed; no one took any action to save my brother’s life. Those officers would continue to brutalize my brother until he died.
“This fund is established to cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counseling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings, and to assist our family in the days to come as we continue to seek justice for George,” the sister said. “A portion of these funds will also go to the Estate of George Floyd for the benefit and care of his children and their educational fund.”
Thousands are expected to attend three separate memorial services that will honor Floyd’s life. On Thursday, a memorial service was scheduled at 1 p.m. at the University of Minnesota. Reverend Al Sharpton was scheduled to deliver the eulogy. On Saturday, another service was scheduled at 1 p.m. the Cape Fear Conference B Headquarters in Raeford, North Carolina, where Floyd was born. On Monday, June 8, a third memorial service will be held at noon at the Fountain of Praise in Houston, where Floyd grew up.
Meanwhile cities across America and the world continue to struggle with numerous protests and rioting.
In Gary, the streets remain relatively quiet as city officials take precautions.
On June 2, Mayor Jerome Prince said, “We have had a handful of demonstrations. I am proud to say, in nearly each case, our Gary residents practiced social distancing and wore face masks to protect themselves and others during the events.”
In Hobart, four Gary residents were among 10 who were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after a demonstration at Southlake Mall. The demonstration was initially peacefully, but Sunday ended in tear gas being fired, property damage and arrests, police released the named of those who face charges.
In Indianapolis, protesters on Tuesday, June 2, gather in Downtown Indianapolis for the 5th day of demonstrations. Mayor Joe Hogsett announced that he would extend the curfew order for Marion County effective tonight into Wednesday.
In South Bend, about 75 protesters on Tuesday evening marched from Chocolate Cafe to the South Bend Police Station, carrying signs for justice in the death of George Floyd. The crowd reportedly sat silently for nine minutes on the lawn east of the Police Station entrance, the time George Floyd endured a knee to his neck during the May 25 incident in Minneapolis. Faye Anglin, organizer of the march, was joined by Tyree Bonds, brother of Eric Logan, who was killed by a white police officer last June in South Bend.
In Chicago, protestors rocked the nation’s third largest city with demonstrations, rioting and looting.
In New York City, protesters were arrested in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday night shortly after the city’s 8 p.m. curfew. A group of marchers were on the West Side Highway near the entrance to the Battery Tunnel after the curfew went into effect, according to social media footage