Kneeling on the ground and with their masks on, hundreds of doctors and nurses from the Miami public health system paid tribute Thursday to George Floyd, a victim of police brutality whose death has sparked a wave of protests against racism in the United States.RELATED
Health professionals gathered at the entrance to the Holtz Children’s Hospital in the Jackson Health Hospital Complex and knelt for 9 minutes in silence.
Getting on his knees has become a symbol for the fact that Floyd, a 46-year-old African American, died in Minneapolis after a white police officer put his knee on his neck for more than eight minutes, hence the 9 minutes of silence.
“I can’t breathe,” the words Floyd was saying while he had the police on him, are another symbol and today you could read them on the posters that health professionals carried.
In one of them an African American nurse had written, “If someone can’t breathe, help them.”
Another poster of an African American nurse said: “My people don’t want problems, we already have it quite difficult.”
Most of the participants, who knelt for almost ten minutes, carried a small sign with the slogan “Black Lifes Matter”, which means that the lives of African-Americans count and has been used for years by anti-racism and anti-police brutality organizations, two problems that often go hand in hand.
The tribute at Holtz Children’s Hospital, which belongs to Miami’s Jackson Health public health system, coincides with the start of Floyd’s funerals in Minneapolis, which are expected to be massive.
Floyd died on May 25 while in police custody after the incident with Derek Chauvin, a former police officer, who was arrested on Friday 29 and is accused of second-degree murder.
As of Wednesday, as protesters in various US cities have been asking for days, the other three officers present at the scene, who were expelled from the Minnesota police force, are also accused of being accomplices.
Most of the protests over Floyd’s death are being peaceful, but some have ended in violent incidents and looting.