(AP) — Members of George Floyd
's family, as well as others who have lost loved ones in police encounters, marched in Minneapolis on Sunday, one of several events planned across the country to commemorate the one-year anniversary
of Floyd's death
Hundreds of people
gathered in front of the courthouse in downtown Minneapolis, where the Chauvin trial
ended a month ago, with many holding signs with images of Floyd, Philando Castile, and other Black men killed by police.
Gov. Tim Walz, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, and St. Paul
Mayor Melvin Carter stood alongside a dozen of Floyd's family members as speakers demanded justice for the families of Black men killed by police.
“It has been a long, painful year,” Floyd’s sister Bridgett told the crowd on Sunday, “and it has been very frustrating for me and my family for our lives to change in the blink of an eye — I still don’t know why.”
Tuesday will mark one year since Floyd, a Black man, died after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin
held his knee on Floyd's neck as Floyd pleaded for air; Chauvin, who is white, has since been convicted of murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death, which sparked worldwide protests and calls for change in US policing.
Several local activists spoke at the event, including Floyd family attorney Ben Crump
and the Rev. Al Sharpton, who urged the U.S. Senate
to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would ban the use of chokeholds and create a national database of police misconduct.
“We want something coming out of Washington, something that will change federal law,” Sharpton said. “There has been an adjournment on justice for far too long; it is time for them to vote and make this the law.”
The George Floyd Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit based in Fayetteville, North Carolina
, where Floyd was born, is hosting a series of events in Minneapolis this weekend and early next week to honor Floyd on the anniversary, including a rally and march downtown on Sunday led by Floyd's family and other victims of police violence
Floyd's siblings established the nonprofit in his honor in September 2020 to address racial inequities in Black and brown communities.
Other events in Minneapolis leading up to the anniversary include a virtual "day of action" that encourages people to organize remotely, two panels with families and other activists on Monday, and a community festival and candlelight vigil on Tuesday.
Terrence Floyd, Floyd's brother, spoke at a Brooklyn gathering in his brother's memory organized by Sharpton on Sunday, urging supporters not to forget their brother or victims of racist
“If you keep my brother’s name ringing, you’re going to keep everybody else’s name ringing,” Terrence Floyd explained. “Breonna Taylor
, Sean Bell, Ahmaud Arbery
, you could go through the whole list. There are a lot of them.”
According to executive director Jacari Harris, the organization has received donations from the Minneapolis Foundation, Black Lives Matter
Global Network Foundation, and athletic shoe and apparel retailer Finish Line, among others. Despite large grants from corporations and other organizations, Harris estimates that the average donation to the nonprofit is $47.
Harris stated that the organization has also supported a homelessness
reduction initiative in Fayetteville, a scholarship program for law students, and an internship program at Texas
A&M University, where Floyd attended.
Mohamed Ibrahim is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News
Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to cover under-reported issues.