Two years ago, 46-year-old unarmed African American George Floyd died handcuffed, gasping for air under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer.
Footage of his last words pleading, "I can't breathe" set off collective grief and anger, which evolved into a modern-day civil rights movement that had brewed for years. Unfortunately, black Minnesotans say little in the U.S. has changed in advancing black civil rights since, according to The Washington Post's report on Sunday and many other reports.
Despite mounting calls for racial justice and police overhauls, the Floyd tragedy continues unabated in the United States where white supremacy remains widespread, Xinhua reported on Thursday, adding that Floyd's murder was nothing new, it merely came to the fore while many more unknown "Floyds" remain out there.
Last month, A New York Times report cited an investigation released by the Department of Human Rights of the U.S. in the state of Minnesota showing that the Minneapolis Police Department routinely engages in several forms of racially discriminatory policing, fails to hold officers accountable for misconduct and has used fake social media accounts to target black people and organizations.
The department has a "culture that is averse to oversight and accountability," and leaders of the city and department have often failed to act with "the necessary urgency, coordination and intentionality required" to correct the extensive problems, the investigation noted.
Some organizations in the city told CGTN that is not a surprise, but believed the report now gives them more ammunition to bring meaningful change.
Two years after Floyd's tragedy and protests worldwide for the justice, force against people of color still continues in the U.S., and the system that killed Floyd in the country hasn't changed, according to a report of Yahoo News on Wednesday.
"After years, decades, really, of fits at provoking widespread moral outrage over racism and violence and pushing for systemic change, it looked as if a real moment of transformation was beginning... But, it wasn’t," said the report.
One of the most recent cases involved Patrick Lyoya, a 26-year-old black man fatally shot in the back of the head while face down by a Michigan police officer during a traffic stop.
In a poll jointly conducted with the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research earlier this year, the Associated Press found that few Americans believe there has been significant progress over the last 50 years in achieving equal treatment for black people in encounters with the police and the criminal justice system. Black Americans, many of whom held hope in Democrats' promises on racial justice initiatives in 2020, are especially pessimistic about future progress in this regard.
The intersection where Floyd died was renamed in his honor on Wednesday, among a series of events to remember the man whose killing forced America to confront racial injustices.
On the same day in Washington, with Congress deadlocked over how to address racism and excessive use of force,U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive orderon policing to mark the second anniversary.
Later events in Minneapolis include a Thursday gathering of families of loved ones who have died in interactions with police and a fundraising gala on Friday aimed at raising money to preserve offerings left by protesters and mourners at the intersection where Floyd was killed.