George Floyd death: The people of America are saying they've had enough - this time it feels different

6/12/2020 11:56:00 PM

Little radical change in the US is achieved without radical action and this time the nation seems ready to listen.

Inside Seattle's 'Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.' Protesters have set up a police-free zone inside a Seattle neighbourhood but Donald Trump is threatening to take back control. More here:

Little radical change in the US is achieved without radical action and this time the nation seems ready to listen.

The response, not just in Minneapolis, not just in the big cities and not just in America, was rapid and intense. People took the time to watch the video and everyone I spoke to was appalled - whether it was in the white suburbs, or the epicentre of the story. It appeared to give new momentum to a movement that started long ago.

Image:"I feel like we finally got some air. I feel like a cage around my body was just taken off... I feel like now white people were taking the other white people's hands off of my hand. All those fingers that were there for 400 years are now gone. And now I can breathe."

Read more:
Sky News »

The new American way of life.... defund the police and replace with armed guards policing the area.... Educating themselves. I don’t think most of them really know what “Black lives matter” is really all about. Police, statues are the tangible focus. What about the real need for change. Focus on that. Cant stand Trump. But in ANY Country...the government would not let you declare a Police Free Zone !

No one is above the law 'Threatening to take back control'? Really? At least try to be subtle with your bias. Identity politics جميل جدا والله مقتبس من الثورة السودانية yep can see that working out just fine 👀🤔🤷‍♂️😷 Nonsense

George Floyd death: One of four officers charged is released on bailOne of the four white former Minneapolis police officers who were charged over the death of George Floyd, a black man whose death has triggered protests for police reform and racial justice, has been released on bail White Asian Mexican Black DROP SKY NEWS FOUR WHITE? THAT'S RACIST!!!!!! dropskynews 3 of the officers where not white. You useless race baiting goons.

donna1167 hope you’re steering clear

With his crass comments about George Floyd, CrossFit’s founder has toxified its all important brandAffiliate gyms have been withdrawing the company’s branding as it digs itself ever deeper into a hole of its founder’s making, writes James Moore

BBC shows pic of NFL star instead of George Floyd during funeral coverageTHE BBC aired a photo of the wrong George Floyd during coverage of his Houston funeral. Instead of picturing the 46-year-old who died last month in Minneapolis, the broadcaster mistakenly showed an… Spoiler alert: we don't all look alike..😐 The UK clueless about this man. He is a lifelong criminal

Christopher Columbus statue beheaded as George Floyd protests continue across USThe statue will be removed and put into storage while the city appraises both the damage and whether its cultural significance is appropriate. Uncalled for, and uncivilized act. Period! He wasn’t a racist though. Just an invader of foreign lands Amazing! These people would not even be there if it wasn't for him!

One of four ex-officers charged over killing of George Floyd leaves jailThomas Lane's attorney is preparing a motion asking for the charges against him to be dismissed Those who can pay are okay. CobiJamesMartin How many violent looters have been freed using celebrity donations?

Derek Chauvin 'tried to reach plea deal before arrest for George Floyd murder'The former Minneapolis police officer was filmed with his knee pressed on Mr Floyd's neck as he pleaded that he couldn't breathe. Mr Floyd's family have called for Chauvin to be charged with first-degree murder He murdered a person but how can he do time in prison death sentence already passed I bet. Yup sadly for what he done and the way the country is protesting there is no way out for this guy ..

Spreaker Mel Reeves, a veteran civil rights activist, said:"What you're seeing is, you're seeing a human response.Derrick Scott: Footage released of black man who died last year after saying 'I can't breathe' as officer said 'I don't care' Mr Gray also told the media that Lane was only on his fourth day on the job on patrol duty and that Chauvin was his training officer, whom he should obey.ave Castro has just taken on the business equivalent of a hospital pass.player Ellis Genge, but picturing his teammate Lewis Ludlam instead.

This is humanity saying we've had enough. Not just black folks, but white people who are saying we've had enough. Image: Derek Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter Mr Gray is reported to have told the Star-Tribune, a Minneapolis newspaper, that a crowdfunding site had been created for donations to Lane's bail fund." At the site where George Floyd was killed, so many people said they also saw their own sons and daughters when they heard him call out for his mother as he struggled. You know the drill. The response, not just in Minneapolis, not just in the big cities and not just in America, was rapid and intense. Many of those joining the more than two weeks of protests have been calling for a ban on choke holds and other methods of restraint used by police. People took the time to watch the video and everyone I spoke to was appalled - whether it was in the white suburbs, or the epicentre of the story.

It appeared to give new momentum to a movement that started long ago. Indiscriminate use of tear gas, flash grenades, and many incidents of police hitting protesters with batons have been recorded. Black Lives Matter began in 2013. And yet it's taken until 2020 to see a truly broad coalition of people get behind it.25m bail. Suddenly it looked like white people were comfortable saying it - and no, it wasn't just the liberals or the far-left US President Donald Trump likes to talk about. America and the world were waking up to what black people have always known and lived. Philonise Floyd: George cried out for help In Minnesota, pleas are not entered in preliminary hearings.

It was as if that video was the evidence some people needed to really understand. Image: Michael Wilson is a new generation of campaigner Michael, a new generation of campaigner, uncompromising and dynamic - who has been a constant presence at the memorial site, rallying the crowd from a makeshift stage - told me this is the first time he's felt free. Race and Revolution: Is Change Going to Come? Sky News will broadcast a global debate show on Tuesday night at 8pm - looking at the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter protests, and examining institutional racism and how we fix it. "I feel like we finally got some air. I feel like a cage around my body was just taken off..

. I feel like now white people were taking the other white people's hands off of my hand. All those fingers that were there for 400 years are now gone. And now I can breathe." As we stood among the rubble of the stores burned down during the protests, he made clear he didn't support the destruction, but believed it had sent a powerful message that made people listen.

"I don't condone destruction but, if it's what we had to do to get our message heard, if this is what we have to do to get the thought process at least open… okay… we were left with no other options." The reality is much of the damage was done by outsiders, many white not black. But American history shows you little radical change is achieved without radical action, and the flames and fury captured a nation that this time seemed ready to listen. What really struck me about being in Minneapolis was the sense of collective trauma and to some degree catharsis that followed it. People kept telling me they felt compelled to speak up in a way they've struggled to before - to raise the micro-aggression and the macro-violence and prejudice they have faced.

Just a few hundred metres from the spot where George Floyd begged for his own life, we met Andy and Leslie. They were kind enough to let us use their toilets. We were two strangers knocking on their door in these weird COVID times and they could not have been more welcoming - offering us water just like they had to every stranger who'd walked by in mourning and protest. Leslie is black, Andy white, and they'd both been processing a lot of emotions as they saw their area on fire and changing the course of a country. Image: Leslie Bowden and Andy Browne Leslie, an articulate, thoughtful woman and the daughter of a lawyer, told me she had experienced the judgement of police and the prejudice of teachers since she was a child.

In the past few days, she decided to share her experiences with colleagues by writing an email to them. She recalled how a teacher had told her:"You're the reason why I don't like rich minorities" and that she was going to"knock me down a peg or two and the world would, too". She described how she had often felt constrained because"you fear saying anything because you don't want to be the angry black woman", but she is adamant she"won't be quiet anymore". It was incredibly powerful, sobering, and distressing to hear. Her partner Andy, who works in a predominately white office, said he hoped at the very least this tragedy would take everyone closer to checking their"white privilege".

It's a phrase some might suggest is the reserve of liberals in Democratic cities. But that's not what I saw in the white suburbs in Minneapolis. And honestly, I was surprised. America is a country made up of small towns. Policing and perspective is a very local thing and fear of"the other" runs deep.

In Prior Lake, where people were out enjoying ice cream and cruising on speedboats, George Floyd's death was still resonating. Everyone we spoke to was horrified by the video and some people told us that had prompted them to have conversations with neighbours they'd never had before. There were still people like John, who refutes the very idea of white privilege, who doesn't think black people are disadvantaged in America. The statistics don't bear that out - in health, in education, in policing. And if you were in any doubt, coronavirus should be a clear reminder of how African-Americans are at the sharp end of so many crises here.

Image: Americans are calling for change but politicians need to catch up In just four years in the US, I've seen two massive cultural moments unfold - the Me Too movement and Black Lives Matter. The former brought down institutions, prosecuted perpetrators, changed workplaces and Hollywood. The embedded nature of racism means the hill towards change will be harder to climb. America can't atone for its racist sins until this debate permeates every corner of it, every small town. This feels like the start and the people are leading it.

The politicians are either playing catch-up or still unwilling to engage with the problem. In just two weeks, 11 cities have banned police from using the controversial chokehold method to detain suspects. Minneapolis City Council voted to disband the police force. Nationally, Democrats have proposed sweeping legislation. Justice will likely be slow.

But public pressure may be here to stay. There has been some concrete progress even in the middle of a pandemic. Race and Revolution: Is Change Going to Come? Sky News will broadcast a global debate show on Tuesday night at 8pm - looking at the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter protests, and examining institutional racism and how we fix it. If you would like to be part of our virtual audience, and have a chance of putting a question to our panel, please send your name, location and question to .