On May 25th, 2020, George Floyd, an African-American man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by a white police officer who kept his knee on the right side of Floyd’s neck even after Floyd begged for him to stop.
“I can’t breathe”, said the late George Floyd, trying to get the police officer off of his neck so that air would pass through. This cry for help later became the rallying cry for protests across the nation, being painted across signs and bodies alike.
The news of Floyd’s death spread like wildfire, sparking peaceful protests against police brutality across the nation and even internationally. Celebrities such as John Boyega, J. Cole, Kehlani, Ariana Grande, Halsey, and more took time to go down to the protests and partake in the march. Halsey herself even planted herself on the front lines and got shot with rubber bullets, sharpel, and was tear-gassed while having her hands up alongside activists.
But celebrities were not the only people taking a stand. Here in Laguna Beach, students and community members of all ages did anything they could to shed light on police brutality and the racism still present in our society today, like going to our local protests on Main Beach an Los Angeles, or even participating in Black Out Tuesday, a day dedicated to educating one’s self the persist racism in our country, and giving people a day to pause and reflect and mourn for those affected by it.
As of June 4th, all the officers who were on the scene during Floyd’s murder were arrested and charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder, each of them having a million dollar bail each, or $75,000 under specific circumstances (such as they never participate in law inforcement again or ever contact Floyd’s family).
And yet, the protests across the world go on, for this movement isn’t just about the loss of George Floyd. Now the protestors are demanding eight new policies for all police to comply with, such as banning chokeholds and strangleholds, the requirement of de-escalation, warnings must be given before shooting, they must exhaust all other means before shooting, they have a duty to intervene, shooting at moving vehicles must be banned, they require the use of force continuum, and there must be comprehensive reporting.
“The main thing about this movement that I think is important for others is that it isn’t going anywhere. This time around, the people in the streets are far more in number, passion, diversity, and they’re here to stay,” says Luka Salib, a graduating senior at LBHS.
This movement isn’t just limited to African-Americans. People of all races are taking a stand for justice and equality for those who have always been oppressed, for this isnt a fight anyone should have to fight alone.
“Those who aren’t personally affected are the key to solving this. That’s the main difference with this fight: privileged white kids are now endangering their lives by putting their bodies between blacks and officers,” said Salib.
Here at Laguna Beach High School, and especially within the Brush and Palette team, we pride ourselves on being accepting of all, but our help is still needed. Give your support by texting “FLOYD” to 55156 and signing their petition, texting “JUSTICE” to 668366, donating to organizations such as Black Lives Matter. If you want any more resources, click here to find a wide variety of ways to help put an end to these injustices.