George Floyd timeline: How a year of protests and search for justice unfolded

25 May 2021, 06:09 | Updated: 25 May 2021, 14:36

Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis
Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis. Picture: PA

By Will Taylor

Today marks one year since the murder of George Floyd.

The 46-year-old died after white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground with his knee for several minutes during an arrest.

Chauvin, who was found guilty of murder, kept him on the ground as Mr Floyd cried out "I can’t breathe".

His death led to worldwide Black Lives Matter protests over the treatment of African Americans at the hands of police, which soon spread to other countries, and a nearly year-long pursuit for justice for Mr Floyd.

Tuesday marks a year from the murder of George Floyd
Tuesday marks a year from the murder of George Floyd. Picture: PA

May 25, 2020: George Floyd is killed after police arrest him

Officers in Minneapolis respond to a call just after 8pm about a possible forgery at a corner shop and encounter Floyd.

After a struggle, he is handcuffed and put face-down on the street with Chauvin using his knee to keep him to the ground for about nine minutes.

Bystanders record what happens and plead with the officer to stop.

Mr Floyd is later pronounced dead in hospital.

May 26: Police say death came after "medical incident"

A statement from police said Mr Floyd physically resisted officers and appeared to have been in medical distress.

Shortly after, footage bystanders shot of the arrest is posted online and the FBI is asked to help investigate the incident.

Chauvin and three other officers are sacked, and protests start.

May 28: Black Lives Matter demonstrations in London

A crowd arrives at the US embassy in South London in protest at the bystander footage of Mr Floyd's murder. A wave of follow up protests throughout the capital and the UK continue into the summer.

Read more: Thousands march through the streets of London for Black Lives Matter protest

Mr Floyd's death sparked protests across the world
Mr Floyd's death sparked protests across the world. Picture: PA

May 29: Chauvin arrested and charged

The now-fired officer is accused of third-degree murder and manslaughter after days of protests. Later, he is charged with the more serious second-degree murder alongside three officers involved in the arrest.

June 1: Medical verdict arrives

After days of protests and Donald Trump's remarks about them causing anger, a medical examiner finds Mr Floyd's heart stopped as police restrained him and compressed his neck.

Underlying health conditions and use of fentanyl and methamphetamine are also noted.

June 9: George Floyd is laid to rest

Following a series of funeral services in Minneapolis, Mr Floyd is laid to rest.

It follows a national debate about police reform, a ban on Minneapolis officers using chokeholds, and massive peaceful protests.

A day before his funeral, thousands pay their respects to Mr Floyd in Houston, Texas, where he grew up.

Read more: George Floyd's funeral gets underway as thousands pay their respects

George Floyd died on May 25 2020.
George Floyd died on May 25 2020. Picture: Social Media

July 21: Minnesota reforms police accountability measures

The Minnesota Legislature's changes include bans on neck restraints, chokeholds and so-called warrior-style training after weeks of global Black Lives Matter protests.

October 7: Protests after Chauvin is released from jail

The ex-officer posts a £1 million dollar bail (£720,000) and leaves prison, causing further protests.

March 11, 2021: Jury selection begins

The process of choosing jurors for Chauvin's trial gets under way, with candidates questioned for more than two weeks.

Nearly all say they have seen parts of the footage of George Floyd and several say it has given them at least a somewhat negative view of Chauvin, but say they can put that to one side.

The next day, Minneapolis pays 27 million USD to settle a civil lawsuit with Mr Floyd's family.

March 29: The trial of Chauvin begins

Facing third-degree murder and second-degree murder charges and manslaughter, Chauvin is put on trial for three weeks.

Jurors hear evidence from 45 witnesses and watch hours of bystander footage.

April 20: Guilty verdict arrives

Chauvin is found guilty on all three charges of killing Mr Floyd. He is due to be sentenced on June 25.

He will later request a fresh trial in May.