George Floyd Murdered
A Month of Protest
Change is Coming
March on Washington
Joe Biden Wins Election
Justice in Policing
New Year, New Beginnings
Trial of Derek Chauvin
From "I can't breathe" to "Say his name," these two seemingly simple phrases have evolved into national outcry in the 365 days since George Floyd was murdered. Floyd was killed while being taken into police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, 2020, and as his then 6-year-old daughter Gianna said, he "changed the world."
In demonstrations and peaceful protests that drew millions in cities across the nation — including here in the DMV — thousands have called for action to be taken regarding police reform while they mourned the death of another unarmed Black person at the hands of law enforcement in the United States.
Here's a look back at the impact George Floyd's death had across D.C., Maryland and Virginia and how things have changed in our area exactly one year later.
May 2020: George Floyd Murdered
May 25, 2020: George Floyd was killed by former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin after being arrested for suspicion of using narcotics. Officer Chauvin was seen on video pressing on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Floyd is heard saying several times that he could not breathe.
May 26, 2020: Hundreds of protesters took the streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota in reaction to the death of George Floyd.
May 27, 2020: The four Minneapolis Police officers involved in the death of George Floyd were fired. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey identified the officers as Officer Derek Chauvin, Officer Thomas Lane, Officer Tou Thao and Officer J Alexander Kueng.
May 27, 2020: Protests start in several cities across the country, including LA, Ferguson, New York, Kentucky, Atlanta and the District
May 28, 2020: The governor of Minnesota activated the National Guard following vandalism, looting and damaging of businesses.
May 29, 2020: Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged for the death of George Floyd.
May 29, 2020: Former President Donald Trump delivers a message to protesters via Twitter calling them "thugs" and stating, "When the looting starts, the shooting starts."
May 29-30, 2020: Hundreds of people in D.C. marched from 14th and U Streets Northwest to the White House in the evening protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The protesters eventually moved toward Capitol Hill and took to the highway, blocking traffic at the 395/695 interchange. Protests remained mostly peaceful, but there was an intense moment where a Secret Service agent tackled a protester to the ground as the crowds moved towards the White House.
Outrage over George Floyd's death ignites second day of chaos in DC
May 31, 2020: A Justice for George Floyd protest took place in Manassas, Va. Some protesters turned violent and began throwing bricks, rocks and bottles at passing cars and at police, officials said. Prince William County residents in Virginia were asked to shelter in place following the violence.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in response to escalating violence across the Commonwealth.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and former D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham talked about the aftermath of overnight protests at a news conference. They confirmed several local businesses were damaged and 11 DC police officers were left with non-life-threatening injuries.
Newsham said one officer sustained injuries to their leg and underwent surgery for a ‘compound leg fracture’ after being hit by a brick. About 29 vehicles were damaged or spray-painted, at least three vehicles were set on fire, and 17 arrests were made overnight, including charges of rioting, burglary, and simple assault.
May 31, 2020: The Secret Service briefly took Former President Trump to the White House's underground bunker on Friday night as protesters gathered outside, according to media reports.
May 31, 2020 (overnight): During the third straight night of protests, demonstrators started fires near the White House as tensions with police grew.
June 2020: A Month of Protest
June 1, 2020: D.C. Police charged 18 protesters ranging in age from 18 to 34-years-old for rioting, looting and robbery, and put a lookout for more people suspected of committing crimes.
June 1, 2020: Nearly 200 demonstrators marched up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial calling for commonsense police reform and encouraging peaceful assembly.
The peaceful protest turned into a vigil in memory of Floyd, with organizers encouraging participants to voice their anger and frustration while avoiding violence and squashing out hate.
The National Park Service released photos of defaced monuments at the National Mall during the protests. At the Lincoln Memorial vandals wrote "Yall not tired yet?" in black spray paint. The World War II Memorial had "Do black vets count?" spray-painted in black along the base of one of the reflecting pools.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a citywide curfew for the District starting at 7 p.m. Monday (June 1) and Tuesday (June 2) evenings following three nights of protests.
A group of teens and young adults organized a peaceful protest outside the Rio Lakefront shopping center in Gaithersburg, before marching through neighborhoods, chanting "say their names" and eventually winding up on the Sam Eig and Great Seneca highways blocking traffic.
June 1, 2020: Just before curfew, law enforcement aggressively pushed protesters back and deployed tear gas near the White House and Lafayette Square so that Former president Donald Trump could take a photo-op in front of St. John's Church.
George Floyd's death was ruled a homicide by a government agency and a doctor hired by Floyd's family lawyer.
Former President Donald Trump stated that he would deploy the military to cities and states where the protests were out of control.
June 2, 2020: D.C. faith leaders respond in outrage toward the president's decision to take a photo op with an "upside-down" bible in front of the place of worship Monday evening.
Dozens of protesters sought refuge at a stranger's home on Swann Street in Logan Circle to avoid curfew arrests during protests. The protesters were spread through the three floors of the home. The people in the home kept them safe there until the curfew ended at 6 a.m. Tuesday.
June 3, 2020: More than 300 people were arrested across the District following the fourth day of protests, officials said, and the majority of arrests were for violating curfew. Two officers were injured, one police car was set on fire, and some property destruction, including smashed glass and graffiti, were also reported
June 3, 2020: The three other officers involved in George Floyd's death were charged with aiding and abetting the killing. And Chauvin's charges upgraded to second-degree murder from the third-degree murder charge he was initially given.
June 4, 2020: Parkland school shooting survivor leads hundreds of protesters from White House to Capitol.
June 5, 2020: ACLU sues Trump administration for use of tear gas on protesters during photo-op at St. John's Church. The lawsuit alleges that the use of chemical irritants to clear the streets for Trump's church photo op "violated the protesters’ First and Fourth Amendment rights."
June 5, 2020: D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled a Black Lives Matter mural that was painted across several blocks of 16th Street. The city cleared the street so painters could finish the mural. That section of 16th Street near the White House is now called "Black Lives Matter Plaza."
June 5, 2020: A 176-year-old slave auction block was removed from downtown Fredericksburg.
June 6, 2020: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives offers a $15,000 reward for information leading to the people responsible for setting a fire in the lobby of the AFL-CIO building on 16th Street.
June 6, 2020: Tens of thousands of people converged for the 9th straight day of protests, marking the largest crowds yet during a historic week of protests demanding an end to police brutality and systemic racism. George Floyd's cousin was in attendance.
June 8, 2020: Representative Karen Bass (D-Ca.) introduced the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in Congress.
June 8, 2020: Derek Chauvin makes his first court appearance since Floyd's murder.
June 8, 2020: Congressional Democrats proposed a sweeping overhaul of police oversight and procedures. The Justice in Policing Act would ban police choke holds, create a national database of excessive-force incidents, and prohibit certain no-knock warrants.
June 9, 2020: The D.C. Council unanimously passed a massive package of police reforms, over the objections of the police union and despite a last-minute effort by the mayor to slow it down. The bill bans DC police from tear gassing First Amendment protesters, although lawmakers admit that's not binding on federal police, and makes it a felony to use a neck restraint like the one used on George Floyd.
June 9, 2020: George Floyd is buried in Houston.
June 10, 2020: Crews start dismantling the fence that was temporarily set up around White House grounds. The fence was originally erected to separate protesters from the building.
June 10, 2020: George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, joins protesters at Black Lives Matter Plaza before testifying in front of Congress on police brutality.
June 11, 2020: The Montgomery County Public Schools Board of Education approved a resolution that could ultimately lead to the modification or elimination of its school resource officer program.
June 11, 2020: Maryland’s Comptroller Peter Franchot calls for the removal of a Confederate monument, known as the Talbot Boys, which went up in 1914 and features a figure holding a furled Confederate flag in bronze.
June 13, 2020: Sixteen days after protests first started in D.C. over Floyd's death, hundreds fill downtown D.C. once again to make their voices heard.
June 13, 2020: The Secret Service issues a correction, admitting that an agency employee fired oleoresin capsicum spray (pepper spray) "in response to an assaultive individual," when protesters were cleared from Lafayette Square on June 1.
June 14, 2020: Hundreds of people from churches all across the metro marched during the Prayer Walk for Peace and Justice, hosted by Alfred Street Baptist Church.
June 16, 2020: The Montgomery County Council unanimously passed a resolution calling racism a "public health crisis."
June 16, 2020: President Donald Trump signed an executive order on policing that he said would encourage better police practices and establish a database to keep track of officers with a history of excessive use-of-force complaints.
June 18, 2020: Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks accepts the resignation of Police Chief Hank Stawinski effective immediately. The leader of Prince George’s NAACP chapter called for Stawinski's removal after a report was released documenting numerous allegations that serious complaints about racial bias in the department were never adequately investigated.
June 19, 2020: Protests continue on Juneteenth, as dozens of demonstrations highlighted the systemic issues impacting the Black community, from disparities in education to personal experiences of police brutality.
June 19, 2020: D.C.'s only outdoor Confederate statue was torn down and burned by protesters on Juneteenth, right outside MPD headquarters. The statue, of Brigadier General Albert Pike, was one of 18 Civil War monuments in D.C. that has stood in Judiciary Square since 1901.
June 22, 2020: Protesters clashed with police following an attempt to remove the Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Square outside the White House.
June 23, 2020: President Donald Trump tweeted that he has "authorized" the federal government to "arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S."
June 25: George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passes in the House 236-181.
June 26, 2020: A group of demonstrators rallied at the Emancipation Memorial to engage in a conversation on race. They stood in Lincoln Park to call for the removal of the statue depicting Lincoln and a freed slave.
June 27, 2020: Four men are charged with the destruction of federal property for allegedly trying to tear down the Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Square.
June 29, 2020: Prince William County Public Schools votes to change the names of Stonewall Middle School and Stonewall Jackson High School.
June 29, 2020: Federal lawmakers begin to investigate police's use of force to remove protesters from Lafayette Square on June 1.
July 2020: Change is Coming
July 14, 2020: George Floyd’s family sues former Minneapolis police officers charged in his death. Minnesota lawmakers passed a bill designed to change culture and practices in oversight of the state’s police officers.
July 15, 2020: Defund the Police becomes a hot topic across the United States and in Washington DC. Many use the phrase chanted at protests following Floyd’s murder is used to call into question the number of funds given to the police departments.
July 17, 2020: DC City Council revises police reform legislation amid calls for changes to the proposal that was sent from Mayor Bowser’s office. Before George Floyd’s murder, DC’s Mayor Bowser wanted to add more funding and police officers to the force.
July 18, 2020: Washington Football Team announced it will retire team name and logo “Redskins” amid calls following the death of George Floyd. The team faced calls for its name and logo for over a decade, but with stadium sponsor Fed-Ex holding financial support up, it really put an end to the uses of both.
August 2020: March on Washington
During the month of August, Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network hosted the 2020 March on Washington in D.C. The march, which was held on Aug. 28, coincided with the original March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which took place in 1963, and where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.
August 1, 2020: March on Washington organizers released the schedule of events for the march – including strict safety measures due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
August 7, 2020: The families of the country's most recent victims of police brutality will attend the 57th anniversary of the historic March on Washington on Aug. 28, the National Action Network (NAN) announced.
August 8, 2020: A Virginia panel has recommended moving the state's statue of Robert E. Lee at the U.S. Capitol to the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in Richmond.
August 17, 2020: George Floyd's brothers led a moment of silence during the first night of the Democratic National Convention to honor the Black Americans who had been killed by police.
August 19, 2020: Despite concerns from health officials and state leaders, National Action Network announces they will proceed with the March on Washington event – as Rev. Al Sharpton speaks with WUSA9 to discuss the Network's plans for the march and what participants can expect if they participate.
August 28, 2020: Thousands of people descended on the National Mall to participate in the National Action Network's Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks, also known as the 2020 March on Washington.
March on Washington 2020
August 31, 2020: Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced the launch of a new African American history course that will be available to 16 Commonwealth school divisions.
Sept/Oct. 2020: Racial Reckoning
Sept. 9 2020: Prince William County votes to rename Jefferson Davis Highway, changing it from the name of the former Confederate President to Richmond Highway
Sept. 18, 2020: Minneapolis City Council votes unanimously to rename a street after George Floyd.
Sept. 26, 2020: – Young people march for change in D.C. in a renewed call for an end to police brutality
Oct. 7, 2020: Derek Chauvin posts a $1 million bond and is released from state prison. People protest his release across the country.
Oct. 9, 2020: The Hennepin County Court says Chauvin can leave Minnesota because of “safety concerns”
Oct. 19, 2021: Juneteenth officially becomes a state holiday after lawmakers unanimously approved legislation during the Virginia General Assembly special session.
Oct. 21, 2020: Judge Cahill drops a 3rd-degree murder charge against Chauvin, but keeps all other charges in place.
Oct. 27, 2020: Darnella Frazier, the 17-year-old who recorded George Floyd’s death, is chosen to receive the Courage Award by PEN America, the literary and human rights organization.
Oct. 28, 2020: Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signs police reform bills into law, banning no-knock warrants, giving localities power to create civilian review boards and limiting the use of neck restraints
November 2020: Joe Biden Wins Election
Nov. 1-2, 2020: As Election Day loomed, D.C. prepared for possible unrest and activists prepared for demonstrations.
Nov. 3, 2020: Crowds gathered on Black Lives Matter Plaza awaiting word of a winner of the 2020 presidential election, but record-breaking voter turn out slowed the process, and a winner was not determined on Election Night
Nov. 4, 2020: In the days following Election night, demonstrators planned protests all week long to make sure votes were counted.
Nov. 6, 2020: Election uncertainty continued through Friday. Musician Kenny Sway, who took the microphone during the summer social justice protests in D.C., was once again called on to soothe crowds at Black Lives Matter Plaza.
Nov. 7, 2020: After days of uncertainty, the 2020 presidential election was called for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Crowds gathered at Black Lives Matter plaza for a block-party-like celebration that continued for two nights.
DC reacts: Biden projected winner
Nov. 11, 2020: Following the election, supporters of President Trump organized a march to protest the 2020 election results, pointing to baseless claims of election fraud. Counter protests were also planned.
Nov. 14, 2020: Protesters and counter-protesters clashed for the first time in a series of rallies protesting the 2020 election results.
Nov. 28, 2020: D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory becomes the country’s first Black Cardinal.
December 2020: Justice in Policing
Dec. 2, 2020: Prince George’s County Police Reform Work Group makes recommendations for how to improve the department in the wake of George Floyd’s death
Dec. 7, 2020: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signs Breonna’s Law, which bans no-knock search warrants.
VMI removed the statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson after allegations of systemic racism.
Dec. 12, 2020: Gov. Ralph Northam announced a proposal to spend $25 million to transform historical sites in Virginia.
Dec. 14, 2020: In another protest of 2020 election results, Pro-Trump protesters were seen destroying a Black Lives Matter banner belonging to D.C.’s oldest Black Church
Dec. 14, 2020: Black Lives Matter DC looks toward the new year, promising to continue working toward police reform.
Dec. 15, 2020: Arlington County Police officers begin wearing body cameras.
Dec. 18, 2020: DC’s oldest black church put up a new Black Lives Matter banner after the original was burned during election results protest.
December 22: Anne Arundel County named Amal Awad as police chief, an openly gay Black woman.
January/February 2021: New Year, New Beginnings
Jan. 12, 2021: Although originally the four officers were set to be tried together, Judge Peter Cahill rules Derek Chauvin will be tried alone due to the COVID-19 pandemic and courtroom space limitations.
It is later determined that Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng will be tried in August 2021. They’re each charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Jan. 20, 2021: After months of heavy campaigning and some heated exchanges on the presidential debate stage amid the pandemic, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are sworn in on Inauguration Day.
59th Presidential Inauguration
Feb. 12, 2021: The City of Minneapolis moves forward with plans to memorialize George Floyd at the location of his death, the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, now known as "George Floyd Square."
The city announced its plan to utilize the area to advance racial justice and healing, while also opening the intersection back up to traffic; the intersection was blocked by barricades after Floyd’s death.
February 24, 2021: Rep. Bass reintroduces the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act after it failed to pass a Senate procedural vote to advance in 2020.
March/April 2021: Trial of Derek Chauvin
March 3, 2021: George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passes in the House of Representatives 220-212.
March 8, 2021: Court proceedings begin in Derek Chauvin's trial.
March 11, 2021: Judge Peter Cahill reinstates a 3rd-degree murder charge for Chauvin.
March 12, 2021: The Minneapolis City Council has approved the largest police settlement in the city's history -- $27M -- for the family of George Floyd and the community where he died.
March 23, 2021: Jury selection concludes after two weeks of questioning.
March 30, 2021: Opening statements begin in Chauvin Trial begins in late March, with demonstrations picking back up in Minneapolis and other parts of the country ahead of the trial.
March 31, 2021: Jury sees multiple videos never before viewed by the public, giving insight into both George Floyd and Chauvin in the moments before and after the now infamous scene outside Cup Foods.
April 1, 2021: The jury hears from key witnesses for the state, starting with George Floyd's girlfriend and ending with Chauvin's supervisor.
April 2, 2021: The longest-serving officer in the Minneapolis Police Department called Derek Chauvin's actions totally unnecessary.
April 7, 2021: Chauvin's defense attorney introduced a new element to the trial on Wednesday, by suggesting that George Floyd said the words "I ate too many drugs" while being restrained.
April 8, 2021: Renowned breathing expert Dr. Martin Tobin testifies that George Floyd died from 'low level of oxygen' caused by 'shallow breaths,' which he said was caused by three things: prone position, handcuffs and Derek Chauvin's knee.
April 12, 2021: Third week of the trial begins.
April 12, 2021: Judge denies request to sequester jury after shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright by a white police officer during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis.
April 13, 2021: Prosecution rests case and defense begins calling first witnesses.
April 15, 2021: Chauvin’s defense rests its case as the former officer invokes his Fifth Amendment rights and declined to testify.
April 16, 2021: Protesters march through the District and gather at Black Lives Matter Plaza Friday evening after two deadly shootings involving police that took place in the United States.
April 17, 2021: Protesters spray-paint graffiti near the Christopher Columbus statue outside Union Station; four people are arrested.
April 19, 2021: In preparation for any possible unrest following a verdict, the entire D.C. Police force is activated. Time off requests have been canceled and sworn officers will be working 12-hour shifts. The DC National Guard also activates 250 soldiers.
April 19, 2021: After a day-long series of closing arguments by both sides, jury deliberation begins.
April 20, 2021: The jury deliberates for less than 12 hours before finding Chauvin guilty of all charges.
April 21, 2021: The Justice Department opens a sweeping investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis.
April 23, 2021: DC Police ended its state of full activation, with personnel returning to a less heightened posture.
April 23, 2021: Chauvin's sentencing date pushed back from June 16 to June 25.
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