Kim Kardashian West has urged her more than 65 million Twitter followers to text “FLOYD” to 55156. What does that mean, however? She’s referring to George Floyd’s death after a restraint by a Minneapolis police officer.
By texting to 55156, you’re contributing to a petition calling for all officers to be charged with murder in Floyd’s death.
Kardashian West also posted a lengthy statement on the George Floyd death on her Twitter page. “For years, with every horrific murder of an innocent black man, woman, or child, I have always tried to find the right words to express my condolences and outrage,” she wrote.
“Even though I will never know the pain and suffering they have endured, or what it feels like to try to survive in a world plagued by systemic racism, I know I can use my own voice to help amplify those voices that have been muffled for too long. Text ‘FLOYD’ to 55156 #BlackLivesMatters #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #JusticeforAhmaudArbery #JusticeforBreonnaTaylor.”
Floyd is the Minneapolis man who died after a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, restrained him with a knee to the neck. Chauvin has now been fired and was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The Minnesota case has sparked riots and protests throughout the country. In Minneapolis, businesses were torched and looted.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Petition Was Organized by Color of Change
Color of Change previously explained that campaign on Instagram. USA Today also noted, “This petition is to ‘demand the officers who killed George Floyd are charged with murder.’ So far, the petitions has garnered more than 1 million signatures. You can also sign by texting ‘Floyd’ to 55156.”
The organization says on its Instagram profile that it designs “campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, & champion solutions that move us all forward.” It wrote:
Text ‘Floyd’ to 55156 to demand the officers who killed #GeorgeFloyd are charged with murder.
It happened again. His name was George Floyd, and on May 25th he was murdered by Minneapolis police officers. George Floyd was a Black man, who was murdered in broad daylight after a grocery clerk called the police thinking he was writing a bad check. For seven minutes, George laid on the street while officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao held their knee on his neck as he was struggling to breathe. He lost consciousness and yet they continued to strangle him. Numerous bystanders pleaded with the police officer to let him go, while Floyd said the words “I can’t breathe,” several times, but the officer refused to remove his knee from Floyd’s neck.
After the murder, officers called his death a “medical problem.” And it wasn’t until the video was released clearly showing them choking him, did we finally see the truth. This was a blatant and disgusting coverup to prevent accountability for their brutal act of police violence.
This is incomprehensible. His life was taken in a senseless act of violence at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department, all for being “suspected” of writing a bad check.
Police continue to hunt down Black folks in cities across America and we refuse to sit silent. It was not too long ago we heard Eric Garner utter the same last words, “I can’t breathe.” And just months ago, officers stormed Breonna Taylor’s home and murdered her in a botched investigation.
We must honor George Floyd’s life by seeking justice for him and his family.
Officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao, and two other officers who were present, were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department. Though it does not absolve them, the officers were held accountable for murdering George Floyd, so this is a step in the right direction.
We are also calling on Mayor Jacob Frey to ensure the officers 1) do NOT receive their pensions and 2) are BANNED from ever becoming police officers again.
Text ‘Floyd’ to 55156 to demand #JusticeForFloyd.
The above post does contain some clear inaccuracies. For example, Tou Thao did not hold his knee on Floyd’s neck. Thao was a police officer at the scene, but his role was interacting with and holding back the crowd, a criminal complaint says, and the viral video doesn’t show him touching Floyd. Furthermore, the criminal complaint says that officers were called to the scene on suspicion that Floyd had passed a counterfeit bill, not written a bad check. As for strangling or choking Floyd, the criminal complaint charging Chauvin says that there were “no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation. Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.”
On its petition page regarding George Floyd, the site indicates, “By taking action, you will also receive periodic communications from ColorOfChange. By providing your mobile number you consent to receive cell phone and text communications from ColorOfChange and its affiliated entities concerning news and action opportunities. Message and data rates may apply. You can unsubscribe at any time by texting STOP to 55156.”
The petition reads,
Dear Mayor Jacob Frey and County Attorney Michael Freeman,
I am outraged and disturbed by the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police Department officers.
For seven minutes, George Floyd and bystanders cried out and pleaded for his life as your officers choked him to death in broad daylight. This is an act of police violence committed on an innocent, unarmed Black man. No one deserves what happened to George. And it’s up to you to grant justice.
I’m calling on you, the Mayor, to 1) block their pensions and 2) ban them from becoming police officers ever again. And County Attorney Freeman must immediately charge all four officers with murder. We’re counting on you to secure justice for his family.
Thao, Chauvin, and the other two officers at the scene have all been fired, but, thus far, only Chauvin has been charged. The county attorney said in a news conference that charges against the other officers are possible.