The murder of George Floyd.
This is an ongoing photo series from the Minneapolis Uprising following the May 25th, 2020 murder of George Floyd.
It is my hope that these photos, in chronological order, will provide historical context and provide some depth to the Minneapolis Uprising. These photos are not meant to be a complete history of any event, situation or from a specific viewpoint.
I began documenting Minneapolis in early 2020 on a near daily basis covering the COVID-19 shutdowns and the impact on the local community. On May 25th, 2020 Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng were involved in the murder of George Floyd outside of Cup Foods on Chicago Avenue in South Minneapolis. Protests began almost immediately.
It’s important to point out the events that occurred before George Floyd’s murder to better understand the already heightened tension between the people of Minneapolis and the city’s police force. Prior to the murder of George Floyd, the Minneapolis police were involved in numerous incidents that fractured trust with significant parts of the community. A year before, in a case that brought international interest, former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor was convicted in the 2017 murder of Justine Damond. Damond, an Australian native, had called 911 to report a potential sexual assault in an alley near her home. The officers arrived and found no suspect or victim in the alley and just as they were leaving Damond walked up to the squad car and was shot as she neared the driver side door. Noor said he heard a loud sound near the squad which caused him to react by shooting through the window killing her. Noor, who was the first officer convicted of killing a civilian in Minnesota, was originally convicted of 3rd degree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter. In 2021, his murder conviction was overturned by the Minnesota Supreme Court and he was re-sentenced for 2nd degree murder. He was released in June 2022.
In the years leading up to Justine Damond’s death, police in the Twin Cities were involved in other high profile incidents that also led to protests. In 2016, Philando Castille was shot and killed during a traffic stop by an officer in nearby St. Anthony. Following the killing, the passenger began to live-stream the incident to Facebook bringing national attention to the case. The officer was charged with 2nd degree manslaughter and ultimately acquitted of all charges.
In 2015, Jamar Clark was shot and killed by two Minneapolis police officers who would say he reached for their weapon while resisting arrest. There were conflicting reports over whether Clark was handcuffed or not at the time he was killed. His death brought sustained protests with protesters occupying the area of the fourth precinct with tents for 18 days. No officer was charged in Clark’s death.
These photos cover a large variety of topics including but not limited to protests, city and community building, political campaigns, local and national government elections, as well as community and reactions of local officials to the deaths of Dolal Idd (Minneapolis, December, 2020), Daunte Wright (Brooklyn Center, April 2021), Winston Smith (Minneapolis, June 2021), Amir Locke (Minneapolis, February 2022), and Tekle Sundberg (Minneapolis, July 2022).
— Chad Davis ([email protected])