GoFundMe raises $8 million as petition demands police are charged

The killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota last Monday has angered not just the US, but stunned the world.

As cities across America entered another day of protests – some escalating into violence – a fundraiser started by Floyd’s sister has now raised more than $8.2 million in his memory, well exceeding the initial $1.5 million goal. And a petition demanding that all of the officers present at Floyd’s death be charged has been signed by close to 11 million people.

The GoFundMe was set up by Philonise Floyd to cover the family’s funeral and burial expenses, mental health and grief counselling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings, and to assist the Floyd family “in the days to come as we continue to seek justice for George”.

A portion of the funds will also go to the Estate of George Floyd to help support and educate his two daughters.

“On May 25, 2020, my life shattered as I learned of the tragic passing of my dear brother, George. My family and I watched in absolute horror as the now infamous and horrifying video began to spread quickly throughout social media,” Philonise wrote in the fund’s description.

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“What we saw on that tape left us shell shocked; a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling directly on my brother’s neck, obstructing his ability to breathe.

“As some officers knelt on his neck, other officers participated and watched; no one took any action to save my brother’s life. Those officers would continue to brutalise my brother until he died.”

You can donate to the fund here.

A second fund, started by Floyd’s younger sister Bridgett to cover similar costs, has so far raised close to $250k.

If you’re looking to or are in the position to make a contribution, here are some other charities in America calling for donations:

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund: Donationsto this legal organisation go toward helping “win landmark battles, protect voters across the nation, and advance the causes of racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society”. You can donate to the fund here.

Black Lives Matter: An organisation with the mission statement of bringing justice, freedom and healing to black people around the world. You can become a “Global Member” by donating $5 to support their campaigns here.

The Minnesota Freedom Fund: An organisation that helps pay jail bonds for those who cannot afford to fight discriminatory and coercive jailing. “Every dollar of financial donations to Minnesota Freedom Fund helps us help free people,” the website states. You can donate to the fund here.

The Bail Project: A non-profit organisation and “critical tool to prevent incarceration and combat racial and economic disparities in the bail system”. You can donate here.

Black Visions Collective: An organisation aimed at shaping a “political home” for black people across Minnesota, with the pursuit of “dignity and equity for all” and “dismantling systems of oppression and violence”. You can donate here.

Reclaim the Block: A Minneapolis organisation aimed at moving money from the city’s police department into areas of the city’s budget that “truly promote community health and safety”. You can donate here.

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Meanwhile a petition, “Justice for George Floyd”, has been signed by more than 10.9 million people, calling on Mayor Jacob Frey to fire and charge the officers present at Floyd’s death.

“George was handcuffed and restrained and being completely cooperative when this all went down,” the petition description reads.

“Not that it would matter at all, but George was not even wanted for a violent crime.

“We are trying to reach the attention of Mayor Jacob Frey and DA Mike Freeman to beg to have the officers involved in this disgusting situation fired and for charges to be filed immediately.”

You can sign the petition here.

Derek Chauvin, the police officer captured on video with his knee pinned into Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, has been transferred to a maximum-security prison, according to a report, on charges of murder and manslaughter.

While Chauvin’s charges are “a testament to REAL community power”, there are still three other officers who must also be charged for participating in Floyd’s murder, a second petition, #JusticeforFloyd, reads.

It’s been signed by more than 3.6 million people so far, and was also created to “demand the officers who killed George Floyd are charged with murder”.

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