Members of George Floyd’s family and others who have lost loved ones in encounters with police joined activists and citizens in Minneapolis in a march Sunday that is part of a series of nationwide events to commemorate the first anniversary of his death.

Hundreds of people gathered in front of the downtown Minneapolis courthouse where the trial against former police officer Derek Chauvin concluded a month ago. Many of the attendees carried banners with the image of Floyd, Philando Castile and other black men who have died at the hands of the police.

Amid slogans of “Without justice, there is no peace!” and “Call Your Name,” Governor Tim Waltz, and the mayors of Minneapolis, Jacob Fray, and St. Paul’s, Melvin Carter, watched alongside a dozen of Floyd’s relatives as speakers demanded justice for the men’s families. black people killed by policemen.

“It has been a very long year. It’s been a painful year,” Floyd’s sister Bridgett told the crowd. “It has been very frustrating for me and my family that our lives have changed in the blink of an eye. I still don’t know why.”

Tuesday will mark a year since Floyd died after Chauvin immobilized him by placing his knee on his neck while Floyd complained that he could not breathe.

Since then, Chauvin has been convicted of murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death, sparking worldwide protests and demands for a change in police practices in the United States.

Several local activists participated as speakers at the event, including the Floyd family’s attorney, Ben Crump, and the Rev. Al Sharpton, who called on the federal Senate to pass the George Floyd bill for fair police action.

The initiative, which would bring about significant changes to police practices at the federal level, would prohibit the use of choking maneuvers and establish a national database on police misconduct.

“We want something to come out of Washington. We want something that changes federal laws,” Sharpton stated. “There has been a postponement of justice for too long. It is time for them to vote and enact this law ”.

A few miles away, the trial was taking place against the ex-cop accused of George Floyd’s death.

The George Floyd Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit based in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Floyd’s hometown, is hosting a series of events in Minneapolis this weekend and in the coming days to honor Floyd at the anniversary of his death.

Events included Sunday’s march downtown, which was led by relatives of Floyd and families of victims of police violence.

Floyd’s siblings created the body in September 2020 to combat racial inequalities in majority black and Hispanic communities in honor of their brother.

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