The terrible memories of George Floyd’s death were evoked before valentine when a high-school student was pictured using a sign of the deceased as a school dance invitation.
The picture, which has sparked outrage across social media, shows the high-school student holding up cardboard that portrays an uneven sketch of George Floyd under the scribble, “If you went to Sadie’s with me, it would take my breath away.”
What intensified the outburst on social media, however, is that, as portrayed in the image, the Foothill High School student appeared to be grinning behind the sign which he held while standing on a football pitch.
The Las Vegas school district has taken up the incident and is currently investigating the racially charged sign.
The sign, which has been described as ‘insensitive’ on social media, is loosely tied to the death of Minneapolis dad, George Floyd, whose life was cut short when ex-police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for a prolonged interval while he was handcuffed, lying facedown on the street.
Derek, accompanied by three other officers, had claimed that George was under the suspicion of attempting to use a fake check, hence the need for his arrest.
Heart-wrenching footage of the incident revealed as the 46-year-old black man was gasping for breath and calling out “I can’t breath” before he kicked the bucket. The highschool student’s scribble, ‘… It would take my breath away’, was a reference to this.
George’s death caused an uproar as protests were held against police brutality across the United States. One of the campaigns, BlackLivesMatter, which has gained unprecedented momentum all over social media and even up to the world of football, called for an end to the Injustice against Black and ethnic minority communities.
Now, less than a year after his death, George’s death has been reinstated in the memories of social media users and foundations set up against racial abuse.
Reacting to the sign by the Foothill High School student, founder of No Racism in Schools, Jshauntae Marshall, told ABC7 that it was a difficult pill to swallow, and that they’ve had to digest things like this incident every single time they happen.
“We were outraged, you know, and I’m very sad because the parents are sending information over, and volunteers have come forth to help let out what’s happening right now,” he added.
Also, Jolie Brislin, from the Anti-Defamation League, has said education is the key to ensuring that issues such as this are completely levelled to the ground.
“We need to teach our kids to frown against prejudice and discrimination in their entirety. More importantly, deliberating to them about the similarities we share is not enough; we need not shy away from discussing our differences too,” she said.
Meanwhile, LAPD officers have allegedly shared the sign amongst themselves, to which George Floyd’s family and lawyer have reacted in outrage.
Reacting to the sign and the report of LAPD officers sharing it amongst themselves, Ben Crump, civil rights lawyer representing the Floyd family, lamented that the family was ‘understandably outraged’.
“This is beyond insult on top of injury; this is an injury on top of death. This act of insensitivity and cruelty is beyond comprehension and suggests a lingering problem within the culture of the Los Angeles Police Department,” he said.
The talks of LAPD officers sharing the image amongst themselves was let out when an officer, who was aware of the inappropriateness of the act, filed a complaint which led to internal investigations.
Finally, several public figures have aired their disgust at the Image, two of which are the leaders on both sides of the political fights in Los Angeles. They also agree with Crump’s statement on the callousness and insensitivity of the police officers.