George Floyd: US marks anniversary of the killing

The US has marked one year since the murder of black man George Floyd, whose death sparked global outrage.

Police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted last month of the murder and faces up to 40 years in prison.

Demonstrations took place in cities across the US on Tuesday.

Members of Mr Floyd’s family later met US President Joe Biden at the White House, as the Democratic president pushes to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

In a statement Mr Biden said the US faced an inflection point.

“To deliver real change, we must have accountability when law enforcement officers violate their oaths,” he said. “We have to act.”

Mr Floyd’s brother Terrence called the meeting an honour. “I feel it was a very productive conversation and I’m grateful for it,” he said.

Legal cases surrounding Mr Floyd’s murder continue.

Earlier in May a federal grand jury charged four ex-police officers – Alexander Keung, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, as well as Chauvin himself – with violating George Floyd’s civil rights.

Meanwhile Chauvin’s defence team has requested a new trial, accusing both prosecutors and jurors of misconduct. The former officer will be sentenced next month.

How did the US mark the anniversary?

Officials and demonstrators held events across the US to commemorate one year since the murder.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio joined civil rights activist Rev Al Sharpton in kneeling in silence for nine minutes and 29 seconds – the time that Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck.

Across the country, demonstrators gathered for a Black Lives Matter protest near City Hall in Los Angeles.

And in Minneapolis, many gathered at the intersection where Floyd took his last breaths, which has been turned into a memorial site.

Events at George Floyd memorial square were briefly interrupted after reports of gun fire. One person was reported injured in the incident.

There were also events overseas. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters George Floyd’s death was a “tragedy” and vowed to take more action in Canada to tackle racism, while vigils and demonstrations took place in cities across the UK, including Birmingham, Edinburgh, London, Manchester and Swansea.

What happened to George Floyd?

The 46-year-old bought a pack of cigarettes at a convenience store in May 2020. A shop assistant believed he had used a counterfeit note and called police after Mr Floyd refused to give the cigarettes back.

When officers arrived, they ordered Mr Floyd out of his parked car and handcuffed him. A struggle ensued when officers tried to put a screaming Mr Floyd in their squad car. They wrestled him to the ground and pinned him under their weight.

Chauvin pressed his knee into the back of Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes.

As he was being restrained, Mr Floyd said more than 20 times that he could not breathe, pleading for his mother and begging “please, please, please”.

When the ambulance arrived, Mr Floyd was motionless. He was pronounced dead about an hour later.

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