One Year After George Floyd’s Death

May 24, 2021

Moments & Milestones

As we mark one year since the arrest and killing of George Floyd, we highlight some of the prominent moments and milestones of this still-developing story.

Something To Consider

You may notice a meaningful change in word choice over the last year. Here’s why it matters:

Prior to the conviction of former officer Derek Chauvin, journalists would describe George Floyd’s death as a “death in custody” – a description used by government officials. This is still accurate.

However, now you may also see reference to the “killing of George Floyd” – since the lead officer involved was found guilty of murder.

Timeline: 2020

  • May 25: George Floyd died in police custody.
  • May 26: Minneapolis Police Dept. fired the four officers involved in Floyd’s arrest.
  • May 29: Charges filed against former officer Derek Chauvin.
  • June 1: Medical examiner ruled Floyd’s death a homicide.
  • June 3: Charges filed against former officers J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao, and Thomas Kiernan Lane.

Timeline: 2021

  • March 12: Minneapolis agreed to settle the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Floyd family and pay $27 million.
  • March 29 – April 20: Trial of Chauvin took place. Chauvin was convicted of all counts (second-degree murder, third-degree murder, & second-degree manslaughter).
  • May 4: Chauvin filed motion for new trial.
  • June 25: Chauvin set to be sentenced.

NOTE: The three other officers are scheduled to face trial in March 2022.

Response: State & Local Govt.

  • 25 states enacted nearly 70 police reform measures, incl. 15 states that moved to ban or regulate chokeholds and 13 states that moved to limit police officers’ use of force.
  • Roughly 20 major cities moved to cut police budgets.
  • Data shows violent crimes are up in cities large & small. Why? T.B.D. While some may point to a decrease in police funding, a variety of factors (unemployment, homelessness etc). may be at play.

Response By Federal Govt.

  • April 21: DOJ announced investigation into whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of unlawful or unconstitutional policing.
  • May 7: A federal grand jury indicted the four former officers of federal civil rights crimes for willfully depriving Floyd of his constitutional rights.
  • Congress is set to miss the May 25 deadline set by President Biden to pass police reform legislation.

George Floyd’s death sparked further momentum created by other major news stories (such as the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery) that put race, law enforcement and the justice system in the spotlight, and raising questions about legislative and social change. As you can see from the legal proceedings regarding the case of George Floyd, the stories, and the outcomes, continue to develop.






by Jenna Lee,