ALLOUEZ, Wis.(WFRV)- The death of George Floyd was captured on video and shared on social media to the World audience. Since the tragic incident, conversations continue about how it has affected many. Local 5’s Eric Richards spoke with local professors about the historical impact Floyd will have on the local community.
On May 25th 2020, George Floyd struggled to breathe under the knee of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. That video has been viewed millions of times and so say has a lasting impact years into the future. “I think it will have a tremendous impact to the extent that historians, let’s say 50 or 100 years from now, will be basically talking about the before Floyd and the after Floyd era,” said Jerry Podair of Lawrence University. Podair says the end of Floyd’s life started an education. “What the Floyd murder did was, first of all, shift our understanding of police and crime,” said Podair.
“I think we started a conversation that is long overdue,” said Dr. Angel Saavedra Cisneros of St. Norbert College. Saavedra Cisneros says the conversations surrounding police misconduct and brutality really started back in the 1990’s and the Rodney King beating by the LAPD in California. “We have started to confront the idea that we don’t all experience equality, we don’t all have the same experience with the police,” said Saavedra Cisneros.
Now that encounters with police are recorded and shared on multiple platforms, organized protests have taken place. People within various communities wanting their voices to be heard. Others however have taken some of those peaceful protest opportunities and turned them into riots filled with unlawful activity. For those who take peaceful protests to new heights, there is an acknowledgement that there can be effective change that can come from them. “Protests are something that Americans historically were not encouraged to do. But every time we protest and get together, there’s change,” said Saavedra Cisneros.
For now, parents are answering questions their children have. Teachers are answering students’ questions. A year later, new legislation making it’s way through the proper channels of government. What is understood now is we are a society that is not done talking about George Floyd. “It’s not fair to see someone be treated like that,” said Saavedra Cisneros.