Activist and model Emily Ratajkowski has shared her artist father’s work to her Instagram, a portrait of the late George Floyd. Murdered in broad daylight by a white police officer who refused to take his knee off a pleading Floyd’s neck while arresting him – and subsequently killing him – Mr Ratajkowski’s artwork is quite extraordinary.
Canvassed with many a brushstroke so as to capture the complex, layered, multi-faceted and interesting human that Floyd was, the heartbreaking piece beautifully memorialises the “gentle giant”.
“NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE,” Emily captioned her Instagram post. “The system that protects and allows for the senseless murders of black people in this country needs to be dismantled. Call and demand the arrest of George Floyd’s murderers. Educate yourself on the history of racism, oppression and police brutality in our country. Find groups who are taking action and ask what you can do to help. George Floyd 1974-2020.”
On May 25, 46-year-old Floyd, a black man, was murdered by Minneapolis police officers after a grocery clerk called the police thinking he was writing a bad check. For five-seven minutes (reports vary), Floyd laid on the street while officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao pinned their knee on his neck as he was struggling to breathe. “I can’t breathe”, Floyd pleaded. “Please.” He lost consciousness as they continued to strangle him. Numerous bystanders were screaming but it made no difference. Floyd was later pronounced dead.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO:
In the American criminal justice system, wealth and race – and not culpability – define whether a person is guilty or innocent. While the video of Floyd’s arrest and subsequent death is haunting, I encourage you all to watch it. Get it on your radar. Let it make you feel uncomfortable. Imagine it to be your brother or husband or father or boyfriend. Let the anger and the sadness sink in, so much so that it becomes undeniable that you must do something.
Our shock is not enough.
If you’re in the United States, text FLOYD to 55156 and sign the petition to demand the officers who killed George Floyd be charged with murder here.
If you’re in any other part of the world, please sign the #JusticeForFloyd Petition here.