More than 100 Orcas Islanders gathered on the Village Green to peacefully protest over the weekend. On Sunday, May 31, islanders joined with thousands of people in cities across the nation and the world to protest police brutality — specifically against Black people — in the wake of the death of George Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25.
Floyd, a Black man, died after three police officers held him down as they arrested him for an alleged forgery, one pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for more nine minutes. Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe for nearly six of those minutes. One officer held back witnesses who filmed the entire interaction. Floyd fell into unconsciousness at the scene and was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to Minneapolis police. Four officers were fired as a direct result of Floyd’s death.
The officer who held Floyd down with his knee was later identified as Derek Chauvin. Chauvin was arrested and charged with murder in the third degree and manslaughter on May 29. The other three officers have not yet been charged as of May 31.