Yolanda Thomas.

Xavier Tyrell Johnson.

Darrell Banks.

Cedric Chatman.

Say their names. These are the fallen, forever lost. These are just a few of our brothers and sisters whose lives were taken through the deadly force of police brutality. There are too many to name here, but each life taken left a hole too large and too deep, and one that can never be refilled. They were our fathers, our sons, our sisters, our daughters. They deserved to live. Instead, they were taken and in their place we have only memories and pain.

Today, we are here to demand justice for our brother George Floyd.

He was murdered in cold blood by four men who had sworn to protect and serve their community. Instead, they stifled the life out of a man as he lay on the pavement crushed beneath their weight.

George Floyd’s passing was neither swift, nor easy. He suffered for nearly 10 minutes, begging for his life, in excruciating pain, until his body gave out from the duress placed on him. The man who is responsible for his death is Derek M. Chauvin. Heedless to his cries, Chauvin suffocated George Floyd to death, showing no mercy, no humanity, no remorse. He took the life of George Floyd with cold, calculated, deliberate intent.

But Chauvin is not the only one who is responsible for his death. Three other officers participated in this willful act of murder. Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng willfully held Floyd down as Derek M. Chauvin drove his knee into Floyd’s neck. Tou Thao stood guard and watched the murder unfold in front of him, refusing to intervene or stop the clear act of excessive force. As Derek M. Chauvin slowly strangled George Floyd to his death under the watchful eyes and forceful hands of his accomplices, George Floyd was able to gasp, “They’re going to kill me.” He was right. And they did, on a busy street in broad daylight in Minneapolis while onlookers watched in horror.

We demand justice for George Floyd.

We demand that his murderers be charged, arrested, and tried for the heinous act of murder which they committed against an unarmed and helpless man whose only crime was the color of his skin.

We are tired of seeing our brothers and sisters taken from us in cold blood, over and over and over again, by law enforcement. There is a crisis in this country. The police behave like a criminal gang. Instead of heeding their oath to protect and serve, they terrorize, maim, beat, rape, and murder with impunity.

However, not only are these officers responsible for the death of George Floyd, every public servant in this city is culpable for the conditions which led to this tragedy. For far too long, our leaders have turned a blind eye to the epidemic of police brutality in this country. Every single one of you is responsible. Every single one of you will be held accountable.

Until there is justice for George Floyd, there will be no peace in our cities.

No Justice, no Peace.

No Justice, no Peace.

No Justice, no Peace.

-United Left

Posts from the United Left’s Writing Team.