On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed face down in the street. Two other officers further restrained Floyd and a fourth officer prevented onlookers from intervening.:6:24 During the final three minutes Floyd was motionless and had no pulse. Officers made no attempt to revive him, and Chauvin's knee remained on Floyd's neck when emergency medical technicians attempted to treat him.:6:46
Floyd had been arrested on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a nearby market. Several witnesses took videos of the incident, which were widely circulated and broadcast along with security-camera footage from nearby businesses; officers' body camera footage has not been released. A criminal complaint later filed against Chauvin stated that Floyd repeatedly said he could not breathe while standing outside a police car, resisted getting in the car, and intentionally fell down; he went to the ground face down and, after Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd's neck, Floyd repeatedly said "I can't breathe", "Mama", and "please".
Two autopsies determined the manner of Floyd's death to be homicide. The Hennepin County medical examiner's autopsy found that Floyd died from cardiac arrest during restraint, after being subjected to "neck compression". Also noted as significant conditions were "arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; and recent methamphetamine use". A second autopsy, commissioned by Floyd's family, found that the "evidence is consistent with mechanical asphyxia as the cause" of death, with neck compression restricting blood flow to the brain, and back compression restricting breathing.
All four officers were fired the day after the incident. On May 29, Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. On June 3, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison amended Chauvin's charges to include second degree murder, and the other three officers were charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder. The FBI and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are both investigating the incident.
After Floyd's death, demonstrations and protests against use of excessive force by police officers and lack of police accountability were held globally. Protests in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area were initially peaceful on May 26, and became violent as a police precinct and two stores were burned, and many stores were looted. Some demonstrators skirmished with police, who fired tear gas and rubber bullets. Additional protests occurred around the world, including all 50 US states. Floyd's death has been compared to the death of Eric Garner, a black man who repeated "I can't breathe" while in a fatal chokehold placed by a New York City police officer in 2014.