Vigils, Murals and Memorials in Minneapolis on Second Anniversary of George Floyd's Murder

May 25 marked two years since the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which sparked a wide-spread protest movement against police brutality and racial injustice.

Kim Townsend recorded a livestream from the scene, in Minneapolis, which captured vigils, murals and memorials in Floyd’s honor.

“The media wanted to depict this beautiful community as nothing but looters and thugs! This community has nice homes, businesses, men that patrol the area, social services, self respect and pride,” Townsend wrote on a social post. “It was truly a blessing to come here today and they welcomed us!”

On Wednesday Joe Biden signed an executive order he promised would usher in the “most significant police reform in decades” media reported.

Last year a Minneapolis jury found Derek Chauvin guilty of murder in the killing of Floyd. A judge later sentenced the former officer to 22.5 years in prison.

Chauvin held his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during the arrest, as the 46-year-old repeatedly pleaded that he could not breathe. Credit: Kim Townsend via Storyful

Video transcript

KIM TOWNSEND: OK, go ahead.

CHARLES MCMILLIAN: My name is Charles McMillian. I was lead witness for the prosecuting attorney in the George Floyd murder trial.

KIM TOWNSEND: OK.

CHARLES MCMILLIAN: In my life-- I told George Floyd, you can't win. I'm gon' turn this around, so you can show [INAUDIBLE] there it is. I was the man on the witness stand with the white glasses on. It shows right there who I am.

KIM TOWNSEND: All right. Yep.

CHARLES MCMILLIAN: You can't win. When it come to these police, you can't win. I been a negro here too long. How you doing, my sister?

- Great. How are you?

CHARLES MCMILLIAN: I ain't complaining one bit.

[NOTIFICATION TONE]

I'll get with you in a little bit, Pop. I'm in something right now.

KIM TOWNSEND: I'm at the George Floyd Memorial in Minneapolis, Minnesota--

CHARLES MCMILLIAN: 38th and Chicago.

KIM TOWNSEND: --38th and Chicago. And it's something to see. I've never seen this before. But they're getting ready to unveil a new street naming across the street.

There's a lot of people out here today. The whole streets blocked down. It's been blocked down for a long time. Different memorials, people have paid honor and respect to that tragedy that happened here. I'm just happy to be in town, so I can be a part of this history. Today is two years since the world witnessed--

[LAUGHTER]

--this murder of George Floyd. And I'm in his neighborhood, near the restaurant where this happened.

[CHATTER]

And just a lot of people coming out to pay their tributes, looking at all the murals, and all the work that's been done, and all the people that have come and paid their respects in this area.

[CHATTER]

This is the actual sidewalk area. I'm going to come around, so you can see. All the memorials, just so much, but this is the sidewalk, the curb. This is where it happened.

The mural of him, and it's the historic George Floyd Memorial. Like I said, I'm just blessed to be here on this day, finishing up the conference. And I saw this on the news. And I wanted to be a part of it, so I came down . came down.

- Do you know Agape?

KIM TOWNSEND: Do you I know Agape?

- Yeah.

KIM TOWNSEND: Agape Movement, tell me about that. I'm from Indiana. I got my Indiana family and friends--

- How y'all doing [INAUDIBLE]?

KIM TOWNSEND: --watching.

- We're Agape.

KIM TOWNSEND: OK. Agape love.

- We the ones that shut this down, make sure that they didn't burn it down.

KIM TOWNSEND: OK.

- And we opened it back up. And what we do now is we go around and we spread love.

KIM TOWNSEND: What? Y'all shut down this area?

- We shut down--

- [INAUDIBLE] whole block.

- --the whole area.

KIM TOWNSEND: The whole block?

- Yeah.

- Yeah, they was trying to burn it down.

- Down here to up here.

KIM TOWNSEND: Yeah, all the protests and stuff. See, well, I just watched from my comforts of my home. But y'all been out here--

- We been out here.

KIM TOWNSEND: --on the road, just--

- [INAUDIBLE].

KIM TOWNSEND: This is beautiful.

- We just opened it back up.

KIM TOWNSEND: This is so beautiful. And I happened to get a message that this was going to happen today.

- Yeah. We really having the main event Saturday, May 28.

KIM TOWNSEND: OK. When are they going to unveil the street sign?

- I think it's Saturday.

- Yeah.

KIM TOWNSEND: OK.

- Or they gonna do it tonight? There it go, right there.

KIM TOWNSEND: Yeah. I see. Yeah, I was wondering.

- There go Charlie McJuror number four, right there--

- Yeah, he [INAUDIBLE].

- --in the George Floyd.

KIM TOWNSEND: Oh, yeah, Charlie McMillian. Yeah, he's-- oh, yeah, I got him first.

[LAUGHTER]

I saw his t-shirts.

- Yeah.

- I think that's so nice.

- Yeah

KIM TOWNSEND: Yeah, so tell me a little bit about some things here. It's self-explanatory, a lot of things, but--

- This artwork was done by one of our--

- Members of Agape.

- Yeah.

KIM TOWNSEND: OK

- His name Popeye.

KIM TOWNSEND: His name was [? Popeye? ?]

- Popeye.

KIM TOWNSEND: Popeye, OK.

- [INAUDIBLE].

KIM TOWNSEND: Ooh, so it says, "I can't-- mama, I can't breathe".

[SIRENS BLARING]

This is nice. Was it a young person that did that?

- Yes. He probably 30, 32, 33.

KIM TOWNSEND: OK. OK. This is my friend I came with--

- Awesome.

KIM TOWNSEND: [? Jeanette. ?]

- How you doing, Jeanette?

KIM TOWNSEND: We were at a conference downtown in St. Paul.

- What was the conference about?

KIM TOWNSEND: Housing.

- Housing?

KIM TOWNSEND: Yes. She works for a software company for housing, and I'm an executive director for a housing authority.

- Oh.

KIM TOWNSEND: --in Indiana.

- Oh, Indiana.

KIM TOWNSEND: Yeah.

- You tell her what we do? With Agape, we go around the community every day, with boots on the ground.

KIM TOWNSEND: That's right.

- And we go to the high-crime areas.

- OK.

- We keep the peace with the business owners, and the customers, and the people coming in and out of the stores. So we offer housing for them. We offer food. We offer hygiene, deodorant. And we also offer a three-year full scholarship at MCTC.

KIM TOWNSEND: OK.

- And the can transfer them to an undergrad or grad school. So we out here every day, fighting the crime and making sure we give love back to the community, who deserves it.

KIM TOWNSEND: Oh, that's wonderful. That is so exciting.

- You guys have [INAUDIBLE].

- Oh, yeah. [INAUDIBLE].

- Y'all have come a long way. This has come a long way. I see a lot of things that people have brought. "All lives can't matter until black lives matter."

- Right.

KIM TOWNSEND: A lot of-- just so much love shown out here today. I'm going to focus-- I'm going to get that billboard up there, see if I can bring that into my video. But it says, "He was speaking and arguing, but they set about to slay him." And that's Acts 9:29.

- Right.

KIM TOWNSEND: "Since I am already found guilty, why should I struggle in vain," Job 9:29. "Tell my kids I love them. . I'm dead-- Please, Please, Please." This is George 9:29.

There's a lot of little entrepreneurs out here and just a whole lot going on. So I'm going to come back on whenever they do the unveiling of the street sign. I think that's getting ready to happen, but, again, here's the store, Cup Foods.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

They've had this barricaded off. The residents have taken responsibility to do that. These are some barricades.

But, again, I'm in Minneapolis, Minnesota, down here witnessing history, the renaming of a street to honor George Floyd. This is the second-year anniversary of his death. And the community is out. A lot of people are out here today. They're calling this George Floyd Square.

[CHATTER]

So when we do the sign--

[MUSIC PLAYING]

--renaming ceremony, I'll get back. All right? Thank you for watching.

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