Brooklyn activists wanted everyone to know they have not forgotten the death of George Floyd in May while they commemorated the Minneapolis man’s birthday on Wednesday.
Joining the vigil was Terrence Floyd, brother of the man killed at the hands of Minneapolis cops in May which set off a maelstrom of protests and riots in throughout June.
The group met at the mural of George Floyd in Canarsie on Flatlands Avenue on Wednesday.
“A lot of people ask me ‘how you doing?’ I tell them I’m maintaining, but I’m not okay. There’s a reason why I’m not okay, it’s because my people aren’t okay. I’ll be okay when accountability will happen, when all these – not all police officers, but these cowards who are doing stupidness to our people and getting away with it,” Terrence Floyd said on his brother’s 47th birthday. “It takes too much energy to hate, I’m not here to do that.”
Kenny Altidor painted the mural of the late Floyd at the corner of 7924 Flatlands Ave. almost adjacent to a similar one he did of rapper Pop Smoke.
Civil rights attorney Sanford Rubenstein said George Floyd’s birthday could be used as a day of reflection for activists to report on what has been done to prevents wrongful deaths at the hands of overzealous police officers such as Derek Chauvin, the disgraced Minneapolis cop who killed Floyd with a knee to the back of the neck for several minutes until the man died.
“The killing of George Floyd set off a firestorm of demonstrations all over the world, the demonstration’s focused on shining a light, a spotlight, on police brutality and the problem that exists all over the world,” Rubenstein said. “On the first birthday after his wrongful death, we intend to use each birthday as a day to see what’s been accomplished to end police brutality and the abilities of police officers to put up their blue walls of silence to prevent them from going to jail when someone’s been killed by them.”
Chauvin was recently released on a bail of $1 million with conditions that allow him to leave the state of Minnesota.
Another name invoked during the vigil was that of Breonna Taylor, who was killed when Louisville police officers entered her apartment as part of a drug investigation and she was killed in the crossfire when officer Jonathan Mattingly fired blindly into the room. Mattingly was in turned fired from the force but never charged Taylor’s death, only for firing the shots inappropriately.
Other speakers at the vigil included Reverend Kevin McCall, Anthony Beckford from the Brooklyn chapter of Black Lives Matter and members of the Haitian Nurses Network.