MINNEAPOLIS - Protests have spread across the United States condemning the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer held a knee on his neck on Monday, and many high-profile celebrities are rallying to donate money to help demonstrators who have been arrested make bail.
Floyd died while pleading for air as a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly eight minutes.
People have been posting screenshots across social media showing donations made to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, a nonprofit organization which pays bail for citizens who can’t afford it.
FILE - Protesters are trapped between police and other protesters who gathered in a call for justice for George Floyd following his death, outside the 3rd Police Precinct on May 27, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images)
“We stand against cash bail as unjust and identify wealth-based discrimination as a vehicle for the criminal justice system to target populations for structural violence,” the organization says on their website.
The organization gained even more traction for its support of demonstrators who have been arrested during the ongoing protests which erupted Tuesday, a day after Floyd's death.
Writer Lincoln Michel recently started a chain on Twitter asking people to match his donation to the organization where it eventually gained the attention of Uncut Gems directors Josh and Benny Safdie.
As the protests continued to rage and gained national attention, many celebrities including Steve Carell, Seth Rogan and many others tweeted in response to Michel’s request to match his donation in support of Minnesota protesters.
Many other athletes and political figures, like former President Barack Obama, spoke out on the death of Floyd.
“It can’t be ‘normal’ if we want our children to grow up in a nation what lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better,” Obama wrote on Twitter.
In response to the protests, former NFL star Colin Kaepernick said, “When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction.”
Kaepernick has made it his life’s work to advocate for racial and social justice since he began kneeling during the National Anthem in 2016 in protest of police brutality.
Kaepernick’s decision to kneel in protest during the national anthem of football games in which he played sparked a national conversation about racial inequality which resonates today, as NBA star LeBron James highlighted Kaepernick’s symbolic protest in a picture posted to Instagram in response to Floyd’s death.
“Do you understand NOW!!??!!?? Or is it still blurred to you??,” wrote James in the caption for the photo.
The image shows an officer kneeling on Floyd, alongside a picture of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling before a game. The picture reads, “This… …Is Why.”