Hundreds break into song at George Floyd memorial after hearing of new, upgraded charges

Hundreds of Minnesotans erupted in song at 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis Wednesday afternoon after learning of upgraded charges against Derek Chauvin and new charges against the other three officers involved in the killing of George Floyd.

38th and Chicago has become a memorial to Floyd’s life over the last few days, including visits from Floyd’s family and Gov. Tim Walz earlier Wednesday morning.

The emotional crowd sang, “We Shall Overcome.”

Later in the day, ex-NBA player Stephen Jackson, a good friend of Floyd's, visited the memorial and spoke to the crowd. 

Floyd’s family visited the intersection hours earlier. It was the same intersection Floyd was pinned to the ground by police and where he died. The family, including Floyd’s son Quincy, were accompanied by their lawyer, Benjamin Crump, as they saw for the first time the memorial that had been set up there.

“Every night with my family, we’re trying to get justice for my father. No man or woman should be without their fathers,” said Quincy Floyd.

Shortly after Quincy Floyd’s remarks, news of the upgraded second-degree murder charge to Derek Chauvin was announced, along with the charging of three other officers.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz also made an unannounced visit to the memorial Wednesday morning for the first time. Dressed casually, Walz did an interview with a CNN reporter who was arrested by the Minnesota State Patrol earlier in the day.


George Floyd, a black man, died on Memorial Day while in police custody. Three police officers held him down, with one of them, Officer Derek Chauvin, kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe.” 

Bystander video showed Chauvin continued to kneel on Floyd’s neck even after he lost consciousness and appeared to stop breathing. None of the officers, including the fourth officer standing nearby, moved from their positions until an ambulance arrived, despite bystanders’ pleas. 

TIMELINE: A chaotic, emotional week in Minneapolis following death of George Floyd

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has ruled his death a homicide and determined his heart stopped as the officers restrained him.