4 ex-Minneapolis police officers, including Chauvin, federally indicted in George Floyd’s death
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A 700-pound bronze statue of George Floyd was unveiled Wednesday outside of Newark, New Jersey’s city hall.
“Hopefully when people walk by and they see it, and they participate, hopefully it inspires them to become active in the struggles that are happening right here in Newark and right here in New Jersey,” Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka said.
George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed in May 2020 when former Minneapolis police officer Dereck Chauvin kneeled on his neck for several minutes. His death ignited worldwide protests and a racial reckoning in the United States.
Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in April. He is scheduled for sentencing in late June.
The George Floyd statue was unveiled outside Newark’s city hall Wednesday by Mayor Ras J. Baraka, fillmmaker Leon Pickney, sculptor Stanley Watts, and other city officials.
(City of Newark)
Actor and filmmaker Leon Pickney commissioned the statue as a donation, while artist Stanley Watts sculpted it.
“By honoring his humanity, we honor every single other person’s humanity,” Pickney said at a ceremony on Wednesday. “The statue was to cause them to remember why they marched during such a horrific pandemic and I didn’t want them to go back to a status quo.”
(City of Newark)
Watts, who has been sculpting for 40 years, said he created the statue “because after death, George will be remembered.”
“I chose to do this knowing that the nation is at a pivotal point,” Watts said. “We all know that this was a horrific display of inhumanity.”
The statue’s unveiling also came just days before Juneteenth, commemorating the end of slavery on June 19, 1865, when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Galveston, Texas.
President Joe Biden signed a bill Thursday that establishes June 19th as a national holiday, Juneteenth National Independence Day.
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