Gunfire Erupts at George Floyd Square as Mourners Gather for One-Year Anniversary

Gunfire rang out Tuesday morning at George Floyd Square, the Minneapolis intersection where police officer Derek Chauvin, now a convicted murderer, killed George Floyd one year ago today.

It remains unclear why the shooting erupted, but a Minneapolis Police spokesperson confirmed there were shots fired near the square shortly after 10 a.m. One victim was transported to the hospital with a gunshot wound, police said. Tuesday’s schedule at the square, which has been decorated with portraits of various civil rights leaders, will include a “Rise and Remember” memorial event beginning at 1 p.m. A candlelight vigil is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.

Associated Press reporter George Crowther tweeted that he heard “between a dozen and two dozen” shots. “Everyone sheltered in place. Lots of running,” he wrote.

Barbara Plett Usher of the BBC was also there, tweeting: “Initial picture: unknown gunmen fired at the square from outside the perimeter. Local patrol shot back and gave chase.” ABC’s Alex Presha reported hearing “well over a dozen” gunshots.

Last month, Chauvin, the white officer who knelt on Floyd, an unarmed Black man, for more than nine minutes, was found guilty on three counts including second-degree murder. On Tuesday, Floyd’s family announced it will launch the George Floyd Community Benevolence Fund, which Ben Crump, a civil-rights lawyer representing the Floyds, said “will be an instrumental, long-term partner to the Black-owned businesses in the neighborhood where he died, where we all have seen the continued negative impact of systemic racism.” It will start with $500,000 taken from a $27 million settlement the City of Minneapolis agreed to in March.

President Joe Biden will take a private meeting at the White House on Tuesday with the Floyd family, as congressional legislators continue to negotiate a police reform package named for Floyd. Violent crime has spiked in Minneapolis in recent months, with a homicide rate thus far in 2021 double that of last year, according to official data.

“It’s been one year since George Floyd was murdered,” Biden tweeted on Tuesday. “In that time, George’s family has shown extraordinary courage. Last month’s conviction was a step towards justice—but we cannot stop there. We face an inflection point. We have to act.”

In George Floyd Square, people have laid flowers beside a memorial marker to honor him. But memorials to mark his death are taking place far beyond Floyd’s hometown. The NAACP held a virtual moment of silence at 9:29 a.m. this morning, a nod to the 9 minutes and 29 seconds Chavin had his knee on Floyd’s neck. “#WEAREDONEDYING,” the organization’s Facebook announcement read.

The Georgia chapter of the NAACP will host Floyd’s 7-year-old daughter Gianna at its “My Daddy Changed the World” rally this evening. In Los Angeles, Black Lives Matter is holding a one-year “angelversary” for Floyd, the group announced.

“We need transformative justice in honor of Brother George and every life stolen by the police,” BLM-Los Angeles said in a tweet.

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