George Clooney has penned his thoughts on the murder of George Floyd by calling for “systematic change” as protests hit the streets across the United States in anger.
With calls for change amid serious discussions around systemic racism and police brutality, the killing of George Floyd is just another incident in a long line of repeated deaths and prejudice against the black community.
George Floyd, an African-American man from Minnesota, was murdered by white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin when knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds during an arrest. Floyd, who was handcuffed and lying face down on the road, was unresponsive for 2 minutes and 53 seconds while the officer held his knee down on his neck.
Three other arresting officers, Thomas K. Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng, also held Floyd down for this period. The incident, caught both on local CCTV and by video recordings secured bystanders, showed Floyd repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe” while the officer held his knee on the back of his neck.
The death has sparked mass protests across the United States with all four officers involved being fired the next day. Chauvin, the white officer who held down his knee, has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Now, as the National Guard are enforced in certain states across the country, actor Clooney has penned a new article for the Daily Beast urging for change against systematic failure.
“There is little doubt that George Floyd was murdered,” Clooney writes. “We watched as he took his last breath at the hands of four police officers.” He then praised the “defiant reaction” of millions of people around the world who are taking part in the demonstrations.
“We don’t know when these protests will subside. We hope and pray that no one else will be killed. But we also know that very little will change. The anger and the frustration we see playing out once again in our streets is just a reminder of how little we’ve grown as a country from our original sin of slavery.
“This is our pandemic. It infects all of us, and in 400 years we’ve yet to find a vaccine.”
He continued: “We need policymakers and politicians that reflect basic fairness to all of their citizens equally. Not leaders that stoke hatred and violence as if the idea of shooting looters could ever be anything less than a racial dog whistle.
“And there is only one way in this country to bring lasting change: Vote.”