MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A timeline of key events that began with George Floyd’s arrest on May 25, 2020, by four police officers in Minneapolis:
May 25 — Minneapolis police officers respond to a call shortly after 8 p.m. about a possible counterfeit $20 bill being used at a corner grocery and encounter a Black man, later identified as George Floyd, who struggles and ends up handcuffed and face down on the ground. Officer Derek Chauvin uses his knee to pin Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes while bystanders shout at him to stop. Bystander video shows Floyd crying “I can’t breathe” multiple times before going limp. He’s pronounced dead at a hospital.
May 26 — Police issue a statement saying Floyd died after a “medical incident,” and that he physically resisted and appeared to be in medical distress. Minutes later, bystander video is posted online. Police release another statement saying the FBI will help investigate. Chauvin and three other officers — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao — are fired. Protests begin.
May 27 — Mayor Jacob Frey calls for criminal charges against Chauvin. Protests lead to unrest in Minneapolis, with some people looting and starting fires. Protests spread to other cities.
May 28 — Gov. Tim Walz activates the Minnesota National Guard. Police abandon the 3rd Precinct station as protesters overtake it and set it on fire.
May 29 — Chauvin is arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. President Donald Trump tweets about “thugs” in Minneapolis protests and warns: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Protests turn violent again in Minneapolis and elsewhere.
May 30 — Trump tries to walk back his tweet. Protests continue nationwide and some turn violent.
May 31 — Walz says Attorney General Keith Ellison will lead prosecutions in Floyd’s death. The nationwide protests continue.
June 1 — The county medical examiner finds that Floyd’s heart stopped as police restrained him and compressed his neck, noting Floyd had underlying health issues and listing fentanyl and methamphetamine use as “other significant conditions.”
June 2 — Minnesota’s Department of Human Rights launches a civil rights investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department.
June 3 — Ellison files a tougher second-degree murder charge against Chauvin and charges the other three officers who were involved in Floyd’s arrest.
June 4 — A funeral service for Floyd is held in Minneapolis.