Here is a timeline of the days following George Floyd’s death and the charging of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin with Floyd’s murder.
A video recorded by a 17-year-old girl and posted to Facebook showed the world what happened to George Floyd on May 25, 2020.
At about 8 o’clock that night, a worker at Cup Foods at 38th and Chicago calls 911 to report someone passing a fake $20 bill. Rookie officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng respond – and confront George Floyd sitting in the driver’s seat of a car outside the store.
During the interaction, the officers try to put Floyd in their police car. At that point, Officer Derek Chauvin and his partner Tou Thao arrive. Chauvin suggests putting Floyd onto the ground, where he holds him with his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 and a half minutes.
The crowd watching the incident grows more and more concerned. Lane suggests rolling Floyd over and Chauvin says no. Kueng eventually checks for a pulse and can’t find one.
9:25 p.m. – Floyd is pronounced dead at HCMC.
12:41 a.m. – MPD puts out a statement saying that Floyd had “physically resisted officers” and then “appeared to be suffering medical distress” after he was put in handcuffs.
But people who watched the video are angry – and plan a protest that afternoon.
By 2 p.m. – MPD Chief Medaria Arradondo fires the four officers.
That night, protests escalate at the police precinct and officers use tear gas.
On Wednesday, May 27, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey calls on Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to charge Chauvin.
Anger grows among protesters centered near the MPD Third Precinct. By early evening the protests devolve into looting, beginning at Target, and soon rioting starts as people burn down several businesses, mostly centered at Lake Street. One person is shot and killed by a pawn shop owner.
Thursday, May 28 – Looting spreads to St. Paul. That night, rioters burn down MPD’s Third Precinct, among several other businesses.
Friday, May 29 – Governor Tim Walz boldly proclaims that the National Guard will help prevent further rioting.
11:44 a.m. – Officials announce the arrest of former Officer Chauvin.
By 1 p.m. – County Attorney Freeman announces charges.
Protests continue despite an 8 p.m. curfew set in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Police, troopers, and National Guard soldiers are not able to prevent what turns into another night of widespread rioting.
By the end of the weekend, the unrest comes to an end, but not before a horrifying moment where a semi barrels down I-35, coming within feet of hitting protesters on the bridge. The driver is later charged.
Anger about police conduct and racial justice spreads throughout the country, where similar protests and riots begin.
Monday, June 1 – Attorney General Keith Ellison takes over prosecution duties from Freeman at the urging of Floyd’s family. Two days later former officers Thao, Lane, and Kueng are also charged.
In the months that follow, dozens of court filings lead to Chauvin facing trial alone, first, with the biggest criminal trial in Minnesota history also becoming the first-ever to be televised and streamed live.