Spike Lee releases new short film in response to the George Floyd protests
Critically acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee, whose work has relentlessly tackled themes of race relations within the black community, has released a new short film amid the expanding protests surrounding the death of George Floyd.
George Floyd, an African-American man from Minnesota, was murdered by white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin when he 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 continued to hold 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.