Jun 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Al Sharpton says Floyd family will lead march on Washington in August

The family of George Floyd is teaming up with the Rev. Al Sharpton to hold a march on Washington on Aug. 28 — the 57th anniversary of the civil rights movement's March on Washington — to call for a federal policing equality act, Sharpton announced during a eulogy at Floyd's memorial service in Minneapolis Thursday.

Why it matters: The news comes amid growing momentum for calls to address systemic racism in policing and other facets of society, after more than a week of protests and social unrest following the killing of Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

  • The details and planning of the march are still in the early stages, according to CBS News' Wesley Lowery.
  • Martin Luther King III will be involved in the planning.

What they're saying: Sharpton said the Floyd family and families of other black men killed by police officers, including the mother of Eric Garner, will organize to call for reforms in the coming months.

"I'm glad Martin III is here today because on Aug. 28, the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington, we're going back to Washington, Martin. That's where your father stood in the shadows of the Lincoln Memorial and said, 'I have a dream.'
Well, we're going back this Aug. 28 to restore and recommit that dream. To stand up. Because just like at one era we had to fight slavery, another era we had to fight Jim Crow, another era we dealt with voting rights — this is the era to deal with policing and criminal justice. We need to go back to Washington and stand up — black, white, Latino, Arab — in the shadows of Lincoln, and tell them this is the time to stop this."
— Al Sharpton

The big picture: Sharpton's eulogy began with an acknowledgment that George Floyd "did not die of common health conditions."

  • He died, Sharpton said, "of a common American criminal justice malfunction. He died because there has not been the corrective behavior that has taught this country that if you commit a crime, it does not matter whether you wear blue jeans or a blue uniform, you must pay for the crime you committed."
  • Sharpton capped the eulogy by calling for a moment of silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds — the amount of time that Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin had Floyd pinned to the ground with his knee.
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