Paul McCartney has released a statement in support of the current George Floyd protests and urged people to fight for justice.
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 second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Now, reacting to the news, former Beatle McCartney has reflected on his efforts to fight for racial justice and has supported those currently lining the streets.
“It felt wrong. We said, ‘We’re not doing that!’ And the concert we did do was to their first non-segregated audience. We then made sure this was in our contract. To us it seemed like common sense,” he said.
“I feel sick and angry that here we are almost 60 years later and the world is in shock at the horrific scenes of the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of police racism, along with the countless others that came before,” McCartney added.
“I want justice for George Floyd’s family, I want justice for all those who have died and suffered. Saying nothing is not an option.”
See the full statement, below.