May 25, marks one year since the death of Geroge Floyd. Religious leaders from nearly thirty churches organized a vigil to commemorate the anniversary of Floyd’s death. The vigil consisted of song, poetry, and prayer.
According to KTVU Fox 2 San Francisco News, the South Bay churches gathered “to send a clear message: enough is enough. The church groups are calling for justice in all communities, as Asian Americans continue to fall victim xenophobia.”
“It was really hard for everyone to look away from that,” said Pastor Susan Van Riesen of the Palo Alto Vineyard Church. “[I felt like God was saying] I need you to care and I need you to care out loud.”
Floyd became a national and international headline when a video surfaced last year of him being choked to death by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Michael Chauvin. You can hear Floyd pleading for his life several times saying, “Please, I can’t breathe!” The officer was reported to have held his knee on Floy’s neck for approximately 9 minutes and 29 seconds.
In March Chauvin was convicted of the murder of Floyd when a jury found him guilty on the three counts filed against him by the state. On April 27 his attorney, Eric Nelson, filed a motion for a new trial. According to NPR, Nelson’s motion stated several grounds as a basis for a new trial, including the allegation that Chauvin’s constitutional rights were violated when Judge Peter Cahill refused to change the venue of the trial and that the pretrial publicity deprived the officer of a fair trial.
Professional basketball player, Jeremy Lin, also spoke at the vigil. “I come from a place of weariness and fatigue,” said Lin while addressing the crowd.
Pastor Hurmon Hamilton of New Beginnings Community church referenced Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his comments at the vigil.
“Dr. King had it right when he said that ‘darkness will never drive out darkness, it takes love to do that. But, a part of love is justice.”