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Where has all of the rioting and looting gotten us?
George Floyd is dead, but destroying the community he lived in does a disservice to his memory.
Both protesters and police officers have lost their lives from these riots.
George Floyd’s brother gave a statement earlier this week, in which he stated that George would not have approved of the violence and theft.
He stressed the importance of holding peaceful demonstrations and refraining from destruction.
NBC reports on his speech:
After a week of mushrooming protests and, in some cities, looting and violent clashes with police, the younger brother of George Floyd arrived Monday at the Minneapolis intersection where Floyd’s life came to an end a week ago.
Terrence Floyd cried and knelt in prayer. He offered the crowd amassed around him the family’s hopes for peaceful protests and additional arrests in connection with his brother’s death. And he ultimately led the crowd through a series of chants, including “Peace on the left, justice on the right,” as if to say the two must go hand in hand.
Floyd arrived at the intersection around 1 p.m., the first time a member of his family had visited the spot where George Floyd died after a police officer kept a knee on his neck for more than eight minutes.
When Terrence Floyd arrived, he was so emotional that two unidentified men stood on either side of him, and at points kept him from falling. George Floyd was a member of a religious Texas family. So his brother knelt, wept and prayed amid the flowers, protest signs, balloons, candles and other mementos left at the spot where George Floyd died.
Among the signs a few feet from a praying Terrence Floyd was one black and white placard bearing George Floyd’s last words, “I Can’t Breathe.” Most who gathered to watch the somber moment were wearing masks, including Terrence Floyd. His mask bore his brother’s image and the words, “WE CAN’T BREATHE.”
Eventually the crowd began to yell, “Take a knee!” More than 50 people did.
“First of all, first of all,” Terrence Floyd said. “If I’m not over here wilin’ out, if I’m not over here blowing up stuff, if I’m not over here messing up my community — then what are y’all doing? Nothing, because that’s not going to bring my brother back at all.”
“So let’s do this another way,” he said. “Let’s stop thinking that our voice don’t matter and vote…because it’s a lot of us and we still going to do this peacefully.”
Terrence Floyd then lead the crowd in a chant of, “Peace on the left and justice on the right.”
Check out the video of Floyd’s brother’s appearance:
Thankfully someone has some sense in all of this to condemn the violence.
The media hasn’t exactly been forthcoming in condemning the riots.
Here’s what’s circulating on Twitter over Floyd’s brother:
Yet even after a statement promoting peace, NPR reports violence continued to escalate in Minneapolis:
Protesters staged large-scale demonstrations across the country on Sunday, expressing outrage at the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and, more broadly, anger at police brutality. Some cities, including Minneapolis, Atlanta and Louisville, saw clashes with police, buildings and cars set afire, and looting.
By evening, many demonstrations had given way to another night of violence and destruction, with protesters ignoring curfews imposed in dozens of cities. Police used tear gas and stun grenades and fired rubber bullets in attempts to disperse the crowds.
More than 17,000 National Guard troops have been activated in states across the U.S. due to civil unrest as of Monday, and that number is expected to grow.
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in police custody last Monday. Video shows that a Minneapolis police officer had his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes shortly before his death.
Tensions were already simmering following the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery in February and Breonna Taylor in March.
Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was jogging through a Glynn County, Ga., neighborhood when he was shot dead. Three white men were arrested last month after state investigators took over the case from local authorities.
Protests also continued for a fourth straight night in Louisville, Ky., as activists called for justice for Taylor. Police shot and killed the 26-year-old black woman in her home.
In Minneapolis, a semitrailer plowed through a crowd of protesters marching on an interstate highway near downtown that had been closed to traffic.
Authorities say no one was injured when the truck drove into the crowd at a high speed, northbound on Interstate 35W.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the driver may have been unaware of the highway closure. "It appears the semi was on I-35W as authorities were closing the road. It didn't appear to drive through any barricades," the department tweeted.
Some protesters jumped on top of the truck, and as it stopped, they dragged the driver out of the front seat and started beating him. The driver, identified by police as Bogdan Vechirko of Otsego, Minn., is being held on probable cause for assault. He was taken to a hospital and is being treated for his injuries.