A GoFundMe campaign that was set up by the family of George Floyd after his death has raised over $11 million within a week, surpassing its $1,500,000 goal. Floyd passed away on May 25 after former Minneapolis cop, Derek Chauvin, was filmed kneeling on his neck for several minutes during an arrest, despite the deceased pleading he could not breathe.
The crowdfunding campaign, which was set up by George’s brother, Philonise Floyd, seven days ago to raise funds to cover his funeral and burial expenses, accommodation and travel for all court proceedings, among others, has received almost half a million donations as of Wednesday.
“A portion of these funds will also go to the Estate of George Floyd for the benefit and care of his children and their educational fund,” the page also said, with the family expressing gratitude to everyone who has reached out.
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“While we are not able to respond to each expression of love at this time, please know that we love and appreciate each and every one of you,” they said.
A separate campaign that was set up by George’s sister, Bridgett Floyd, has also raised over $340,000, surpassing its $5,000 goal.
The death of Floyd has sparked nationwide protests with people calling for justice for the deceased and an end to the systemic discrimination against Blacks in the United States. Chauvin was arrested on Friday and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The three other officers involved in the incident, who have also been fired, will also be charged, Floyd’s family attorney, Ben Crump, said on Tuesday after the independent autopsy report was revealed.
“We heard that they expect to charge those officers,” Crump said on the TODAY Show, according to NBC News. “And now with the autopsy, the independent autopsy from the family that pays particular attention to the two knees at the back compressing his lungs, which is equally important as the neck compression cutting off the flow of air… they will be charged, we understand. That is what the families are hearing from the authorities.”
“He was dying for breath,” he added.
In a related news, an independent autopsy that was sanctioned by the family of Floyd has ruled his death as a homicide. The report concluded that he died of “asphyxiation from sustained pressure”, implying that disgraced officer Chauvin is responsible for the homicide.
The team of experts hired by the deceased’s family as well as the Hennepin County Medical Examiner said Chauvin’s knee pressed into the back of Floyd’s neck thereby cutting blood flow to the brain.
This new report contradicts what the county’s examiner had earlier announced as the cause of death. On Monday, the office of medical examiner said Floyd had died from “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.”
Effectively, his death had been ruled as stemming from heart failure. But the independent autopsy did not find a reason to agree with the medical examiner.
The medical examiner had also concluded that Floyd’s system showed the presence of the drugs fentanyl and methamphetamine. However, it did not say how much of the drugs there was.
When the county’s report was released, it was largely greeted with contempt and mistrust with many alleging that the report sought to absolve Chauvin of any wrongdoing. This was especially because contrary to many opinions, the report indicated there was “no physical findings” to “support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation”.
But an attorney for the family, Antonio Romanucci, told CNN, “Whether or not he [Floyd] was intoxicated or had medications in his system is irrelevant to the cause of death, which is homicide, which is death by the hand of another. The end result, which is George Floyd’s death, would not be any different.”