When Jim Meyer stepped into the middle of the street, the crowd in a circle around him died.
“I never want to see a black man again on the ground below the knee of a white cop,” said the 70-year-old Texas native who had been living in Minneapolis for several years, where George Floyd died murdered by a city policeman. It was a week ago, day by day, just around the corner from Chicago Avenue and 38e Street where Jim was talking.
He was accompanied by two of his daughters. African American women. He is not. A reconstituted household perhaps. He did not specify it.
But he said, “I’m sorry for what we did to you. We must continue this movement. Your voice carries. It is heard all over the world. And the people around him raised their fists in the air and started to scream.
It was 6:00 p.m. Monday night at the exact location where, in all normalcy in a city like Minneapolis, the worst happened on May 25. A black man suspected by the restaurant clerk of wanting to buy cigarettes with a fake $ 20 bill was arrested by the police. He died from suffocation due to too much pressure from the police on his neck and behind his back, a family autopsy requested on Monday.
Rico Suave, a neighbor in his twenties, saw it all. “The guy was on the ground. The police were on him. I was going to get myself some food. It’s not usual for an arrest like this to happen in the neighborhood It’s not normal that the guy died for that, “he said, sitting on the steps of his house, a stone’s throw from a place of spontaneous meditation. On the other side of the street, on a door, a neighbor hung a poster on which one can read: “When hatred shouts too loud, love cannot remain silent”.
” I can not breathe. The video showing George Floyd has since traveled the world, exposing the poor man who is dying, without the policeman leaning on his neck flinching. Derek Chauvin was arrested last week and faces manslaughter charges. According to the new autopsy, the family’s lawyer wants to talk more about first degree murder.
Jay Jay King, in his thirties, says he can no longer watch this video, but has been coming here every day since May 25. Day. And night. To demonstrate peacefully. For him. So that justice can be done.
“I hope things will change. Things have to change, ”she said, holding back a sob.
Sitting on the asphalt in a parking lot, Chad Huber, 32, still looks a little traumatized by his last night. When the protests in the city started to go wrong, he was shot in the back of the head with a rubber bullet. He shows his scar. “This is not how it should happen,” he said. We demonstrate peacefully. But also in a spirit that suggests that the death of George Floyd could end this cycle of violence.
“The police are killing African Americans in this city without being punished. But today we feel anger, exasperation, yes, but also fatigue in the face of this behavior, in the face of this impunity which can no longer continue. “
On Chicago Street, Katisha Jones, 44 years of life in Minneapolis, hopes the same. The end of discrimination and hatred of the past that the present cannot get rid of. “It’s not just the neighborhood, the city, that expresses his anger. The whole country is calling for justice for George Floyd, and even the world. I saw that you protested in Montreal too. The movement is getting stronger and stronger. And that’s how we’re going to make a difference. “
In the distance, the crowd started shouting, “George Floyd. George Floyd. George Floyd. A name chanted, like thousands of others in the United States, so that it is not forgotten.
This report was funded with support from the Transat International Journalism Fund-The duty.