Timeline: George Floyd Case
“I can’t breathe.”
These words spoken by George Floyd as he suffocated under the knee of a police officer have haunted the nation since his death in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020.
46-year-old George Floyd was the latest in a long line of deaths caused by a criminal justice system that has disproportionately harmed black lives. As cities across the country are rocked by protests and the largest civil unrest in recent history, lawyers, activists, and other supporters have rallied to demand large scale reform to the police system and justice for the many black lives lost to police brutality.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump has taken up the case for the family of George Floyd, as well as those of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.
Attorney William Pintas of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm was hired by the Floyd family as Chief Legal Strategist, strengthening the fight for justice for the three most recent black lives lost to racial animus.
Murder of George Floyd
George Floyd’s death began because he was trying to use a $20 bill while being black.
On May 25, 2020, a Minneapolis shop called the police when they suspected that Floyd was trying to use an allegedly counterfeit $20 bill. Police arrived on the scene and arrested him. But bystander footage revealed Floyd being restrained with a knee to his neck by police officer, Derek Chauvin, for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
Floyd was heard to repeat “I can’t breathe,” several times. He even said “I’m about to die.” But Chauvin did not let up, even after Floyd lost consciousness. He was limp and lifeless when Chauvin finally got up. Floyd was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The cruel images of a white police officer pressing down on the neck of a black man as he gasps for air have shaken the nation to its core. As protests rage across the country, Floyd’s legal team is taking the fight for justice to the courts.
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Attorney Ben Crump To Lead Legal Team
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump has taken on the George Floyd case. He has also taken up the cases of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man shot by a father-son duo in Georgia while jogging, and Breonna Taylor, an EMT shot in bed in her own home.
Crump has pledged to bring the wrongdoers to justice and supported the protestors while calling for peace and healing.
“Let’s take a breath collectively for all of the marginalized and disenfranchised and dehumanized people, whether black, brown, white or red, who were killed unjustifiably, who were killed unnecessarily and who [were] killed senselessly,” Crump said in a recent news conference.
Attorney William Pintas Joins the Team
Early in June, attorney William Pintas was asked by George Floyd’s family to join Crump’s team as a Chief Legal Strategist. In this role, Pintas will assess and analyze the details of the case against Chauvin and the three other Minneapolis police officers who stood by while Floyd was murdered. He will work with Crump to develop a comprehensive plan to pursue justice for Floyd and his devastated family.
The George Floyd Legal Team
Ben Crump, Lead Attorney
President & Founder | Ben Crump Law
William Pintas, Chief Legal Strategist
Partner | Pintas & Mullins Law
Scott Carruthers, Attorney
Managing Partner | Ben Crump Law
Chris O’Neal, Attorney
Partner & Chief Integration Officer | Ben Crump Law
Antonio M. Romanucci, Co-Counsel
Founding Partner | Romanucci & Blandin, LLC
Jeff Storms, Co-Counsel
Partner | Newmark Storms Dworak LLC
Laura J. Mullins, Attorney
Partner | Pintas & Mullins Law
Devon M. Jacob, Co-Counsel
Owner & Attorney | Jacob Litigation, Inc.
Aleah Severin, Attorney
Attorney | Pintas & Mullins Law
A Timeline of Events
Here is a brief overview, updated weekly, of the events surrounding the George Floyd case and the related civil rights activism.
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February 23, 2020: Ahmaud Arbery is Murdered
25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was jogging in a suburban neighborhood in Georgia when he was shot by a white father and son who suspected him of burglary. They hunted him down and reportedly shouted racial epithets after killing Arbery.
March 13, 2020: Breonna Taylor is Murdered
Police officers in Louisville, Kentucky broke into the home of emergency medical technician Breonna Taylor after midnight on March 13. They engaged in a shootout with Taylor’s boyfriend, who had a licensed firearm and reportedly believed that the police officers were armed intruders. After he fired at them, police fired 20 rounds into the apartment, killing Taylor.
George Zimmerman, who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, and many others like him, have evaded criminal liability for their actions by using the “stand your ground” law. But Breonna Taylor was killed by officers who reportedly did not even announce themselves before entering her apartment and were shooting back at Taylor’s boyfriend.
May 25, 2020: George Floyd is Murdered
George Floyd was killed by white police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis on May 25. Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds and cut off his airways.
Outrage about George Floyd’s death, combined with anger over the senseless killings of Arbery and Taylor, boiled over and led to massive protests against police brutality.
May 26, 2020:
The four officers involved in the death of George Floyd were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department.
The officers are:
J. Alexander Kueng
May 26, 2020- Present: Protests Across the Country
Peaceful protests continue to happen all over the country, with occasional violence, rioting, and looting. People are demanding justice for the many black lives lost, and asking that officers involved in these murders be fired. They are also demanding that police departments’ budgets be cut in an effort to demilitarize the police.
May 29, 2020: Chauvin Charged
Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder. This was later upgraded to a second-degree charge of murder. If found guilty, Chauvin faces up to 35 years in prison.
June 3, 2020: Three Other Officers Charged
Three of Chauvin’s colleagues were at the scene of Floyd’s death and stood by and watched as he was killed by the use of excessive force. The officers were charged with second-degree aiding and abetting felony murder as well as second-degree aiding and abetting manslaughter.
The four are currently awaiting trial.
June 4, 2020: Memorial Service for George Floyd
On June 4, a memorial service was held for George Floyd. Members of the legal team, including Attorney Ben Crump and Attorney Aleah Severin, were present for the heart-rending service.
June 8, 2020: Public Viewing
A public viewing of George Floyd was held at the Fountain of Praise Church in Houston, Texas. It was an opportunity for the public to pay their final respects to the slain man, now a symbol for a global movement for equality and reform.
Floyd has been to rest in Houston next to his mother.
June 8, 2020: Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells is Found Dead
The body of black transwoman Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells is found in a river in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was 27.
June 9, 2020: Black Transwoman Riah Milton is Murdered
Riah Milton was found shot multiple times in Liberty Township, Ohio. She was a 25-year-old black transwoman.
Protestors have also taken up the cause of black transgender lives owing to the rising number of deaths in the community, with black transwomen in particular being targeted.
June 11, 2020: Breonna’s Law passed in Louisville, Kentucky
The Louisville Metro Council unanimously passed an ordinance banning no-knock warrants, named Breonna’s law to honor the EMT who was shot dead by police breaking into her apartment.
June 12, 2020: Rayshard Brooks is Killed
27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was fatally shot by a police officer in the drive-thru of a Wendy’s in Atlanta, Georgia, sparking further protests and outrage. City police chief Erika Shields resigned over the incident. Garrett Rolfe, the officer who killed Brooks, was fired.
William Pintas is Committed to the Fight for Justice
Attorney Ben Crump has been at the forefront of the fight for justice for black men and women killed by police and vigilantes. He has been vocal about the need for reform and justice for people of color.
As Attorney Ben Crump continues to pursue justice for the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, he is joined in his fight by William Pintas. Pintas offers his legal expertise, resources, and full support during this extremely pivotal moment and is committed to ensuring justice for the Black community.
No Justice, no peace. Say their names. Honor their legacies.
Check back for updates as the case progresses.