George Floyd’s Death and Nation Wide Protests


Lauren Stallworth, editor

Amidst the tension in our nation, the Howler would like to remind our students that we support each and every one of you, and the right to exercise your freedom of speech. However, in order to maintain a fair unbiased journalistic standard, we will not be sharing any personal views from our reporters. We hope that everyone is staying safe, and we encourage you to continue sharing your opinions.

As the country continues to recover from the COVID-19 outbreak, we have seen a new national topic emerge: the death of George Floyd and a reinvigoration of the Black Lives Matter Movement. The nation has called for justice in his death, and the for rights of the black community. Since Floyd’s death on May 25th, after an officer kneeled on the back of his neck causing his asphyxia, causing a variety of protests, looting, and riots have occurred.

Here is a factual timeline of what has happened in the weeks since George Floyd’s death, on both a national and local level.

May 25th – George Floyd is arrested in Minneapolis for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill. Soon after four officers arrived, Floyd was pinned to the ground, held down by kneeling on his back and neck. After he fell unconscious, he was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead. Multiple witnesses recorded his death, and Floyd is seen repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe”.

May 26th (Daytime)- All four officers (Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, J Alexander Kueng, and Derek Chauvin)
that contributed to Floyd’s death and participated in his arrest are fired.

May 26th (Evening) – Protests begin in Minneapolis, and the attack on the police precinct begins. As of June 3, there are still protests occurring – many businesses have been burned down or destroyed, and looting is prominent.

May 27th – Protests spread across the country, most notably Los Angeles and Memphis. These protests call for charges to be brought against the officers involved in Floyd’s death, and the end of racism. These protests remain mostly peaceful at this time with a few exceptions.

May 28th- The national guard is dispatched to Minnesota as the protests become violent.

May 29th- Derek Chauvin, the officer who played the biggest role in George Floyd’s death, is charged with Manslaughter and Murder. Additionally, President Trump calls for an end to looting and rioting, causing further tensions. That evening, the most destructive riots yet occur in New York and Atlanta, and protests outside the White House in D.C begin. The first protestor is killed after things turned violent in New York after dozens of establishments are burned and vandalized, and officers are assaulted.

May 30th – Protests continue to start across America and the ones that have already begun worsening. Locally, riots begin in Tampa. Shots are fired near University Mall, and over a dozen businesses are destroyed. The University of South Florida, Westshore Mall, and International Mall are put on lockdown, and many roads are barricaded.

May 31st – Many cities including Minneapolis establish curfews, which yields little results. Philadelphia joins in on the protests. The death toll comes to six as riots and protests rage on, including in Tampa, and a curfew is put in place.

June 1st – George Floyd’s autopsy rules his death a homicide and declares that he died of asphyxia. Donald Trump also makes a public declaration that he is considering deploying the national guard and other sections of the military – while also expressing that he does not agree with how various governors have handled protests. Protests continue to grow in Tampa, with protestors blocking three entrance ramps to the interstate.

June 2nd- Protests continue to pop-up in smaller cities, and calls for action spread globally. Tampa has its most eventful night yet with almost 100 arrests in the Tampa Bay area, and shots are fired at multiple locations by both police and civilians. Protestors start setting off fireworks on police, and looters and arsonists continue to destroy the city.

The Howler will continue to update you as current events unfold. We hope our student body stays safe, and are here to support you.