'Justice for George Floyd' becomes most signed petition in Change.org history
TORONTO -- With more than six million signatures, an online petition demanding for the arrest of four police officers involved in the death of George Floyd has become the most signed petition in the history of Change.org.
The “Justice for George Floyd" petition that was created three days ago now has more than 6.1 million signatures from the U.S. and internationally.
The petition was created to demand local authorities in Minneapolis arrest the officers involved in the death Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man who died after a police officer kneeled on his neck.
All four officers were fired, but so far only one has been arrested and charged.
Ex-police officer Derek Chauvin, 44, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after a video showed him detaining Floyd during an arrest by kneeling on his neck for eight minutes while Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe.
The criminal complaint said Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck even after he stopped breathing.
Local police claim Floyd was resisting arrest. However, surveillance footage from a nearby restaurant show Floyd complying with police when he was first arrested.
According to the Minneapolis Police Department, Chauvin already had 18 prior complaints filed against him within internal affairs. Tou Thao, one of the ex-police officers involved, also had six complaints filed with internal affairs, while no previous complaints were filed for the other two former officers.
A spokesperson for Change.org said this is just the beginning of a movement toward justice.
“Our work is not done until all officers involved are charged. Racial injustice has birthed a movement in our country and around the world,” Alaina Curry said in a statement.
The petition’s creator, a 15-year-old Oregon resident who goes by the username “Kellen S," is calling on all signatories to make a video of themselves saying what justice for George Floyd would mean to them.
"District Attorney Mike Freeman needs to hear from us now to make sure the other three involved officers are held accountable.”
Anger erupted in Minneapolis Thursday night with protestors taking to the streets, torching a police station and damaging businesses. On Friday, other U.S. cities including Atlanta, New York and Houston joined in with their own protests demanding justice.
Ben Crump, the attorney representing Floyd’s family said in a statement that the arrest of Chauvin was “a welcome but overdue step on the road to justice.”