By AFRO Staff
Entertainment heavyweight Beyoncé added her voice to the rising chorus demanding justice in the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
“We need justice for George Floyd. We all witnessed his murder in broad daylight. We’re broken and disgusted,” Beyoncé said in a May 29 Instagram message. “We cannot normalize this pain.”
The Grammy Award winner posted the message to appeal for people to sign a petition seeking criminal charges against the four policemen involved in the 46-year-old’s death.
The petition has garnered almost 900,000 signatures as as of May 31.
Floyd was arrested on May 25 after an employees of Cup Foods, a grocery store, called 911 to report the regular customer had used a counterfeit $20 bill to purchase a pack of cigarettes. Video footage of Floyd’s arrest shows White office Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck while he lies on he ground with his hands secured behind his back. While his colleagues look on, Chauvin would continue to kneel on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes despite his cries that he can’t breathe and bystanders’ pleas that Floyd was becoming unresponsive.
Floyd’s death — the latest in a slew of Black deaths at the hands of police and extrajudicial vigilantes — sparked sometimes violent protests across the U.S. and the world.
Chauvin has since been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, but many say it is not enough.
“Yes, someone’s been charged, but justice is far from being achieved,” Beyoncé said. “No more senseless killings of human beings. No more seeing people of color as less than human.”
Beyoncé went on to say that all people of conscience should be appalled by what happened to Floyd and the large instance of racism in America.
“I’m not only speaking to people of color,” she said. “If you’re White, Black, brown, or anything in between, I’m sure you feel hopeless by the racism going on in America right now.”