ACROSS AMERICA — Persistently, they have marched, raised their voices along with placards reading “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breathe,” the latter being among the final words of George Floyd while he gasped for air as a white police officer in Minneapolis held a knee to his neck.
Floyd’s police custody death has galvanized Americans calling for an end to police brutality and the beginning of earnest attempts by politicians and others to address systemic racism and fulfill a promise made to black Americans with the Civil Rights Act decades ago.
Floyd, who was accused by a store owner of passing a counterfeit $20 bill, isn’t the first American of color to be killed in the custody of white police officers. The list of names is long: Breonna Taylor in Kentucky. Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York. Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Philando Castile in the Twin Cities. Laquan McDonald in Chicago. Tamir Rice in Cleveland. Botham Jean in Dallas.
The list goes on.
Those fighting for racial justice consider this a seminal moment in history, and they fear their message risks being lost to the considerable plunder and violence that have overshadowed peaceful voices. Here, from the streets of America, are some of the voices from the demonstrations:
Darnelle Dasne, who was demonstrating in Crown Heights, New York:
“I have an 18-year-old black boy, I have an 18-year-old queer son. Every