George Floyd Mourners

Rest in peace, Mr. Floyd.

Minnesota photographer Julie Taylor has been on the scene in Minneapolis during that past weeks of tragedy and unrest. In this piece, along with her photographs we publish her experiences and feelings, unedited, as she submitted them. All views and opinions are her own.


On Memorial Day, George Floyd was allegedly killed by four policemen from the Minneapolis Police Department. Mr. Floyd was an African American man. He was 46 years old. The incident was video-taped and recorded by on-lookers. It revealed authority that had turned into unwarranted power and neglect. What was asked of Mr. Floyd was subordinate obedience. What transpired in the ensuing minutes was no less than murder. Mr. Floyd pleaded for his life. He stated “I can’t breathe”. He called out for his Mama. Yet the policeman kept his knee on his neck, applying pressure for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Mr. Floyd apparently died at the scene on the street in front of the store he frequented. The policeman’s actions contributed to his death. There were other factors involved such as drug use and hyper-tension. He had allegedly used a 20 dollar counterfeit bill 15 minutes prior to his death. Okay….if true, using the illegal document was not right. However, Floyd’s death did not fit the crime.

Julie K. Taylor | Light And Matter

What has transpired since this incident has been nothing less than an uproar. People from all walks of life and socioeconomic backgrounds have taken to the streets and demanded a change. They are not just asking for change, but are instead demanding change. The African-American community has especially cried out and pleaded to the authorities to change the defensive tone, the racism, the policies and attitudes that have long held them in oppression.

A couple of weeks ago I visited the 38th and Chicago intersection in Minneapolis. I viewed the site where Mr. Floyd died. I viewed the large hand-painted mural of Mr. Floyd on the brick building around the corner. I watched as two young girls knelt to the ground and prayed. They consoled each other and held each other.

Julie K. Taylor | Light And Matter

Earlier in the day I wrote a small card to the Floyd family. It was placed in a large circle of flowers….I put my hand on my heart and just stood….thinking to myself that maybe it should have been for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time that the indicted policeman had his knee on George.

Julie K. Taylor

There were many groups of young people protesting. They were peaceful, holding signs, and music was blaring from a truck with a huge mural stating “I can’t breathe” on the side. There was signage everywhere. The fences enclosing houses were smothered in images of George Floyd. The roads were littered in flowers and bouquets. The sun was shining, the grills emitting smells of burgers….free food and water for all.

There were representatives of the “Black Lives Matter” movement. A young woman representing her views was steeped in the knowledge of Malcom X’s teachings. It felt ironic that so many viewed this gathering as divisive, when in fact this crowd sought radical change and were cohesive to that end. So, many young people are passionate for change…giving voice to what has been silent. I remember thinking of the word freedom. The protesters had the freedom to speak their truth. We all should have that right. Did George? Or was his freedom taken away as his life was snuffed out?  Do minorities have the same freedoms as their white counterparts?  I do not think so. It seems there is little accountability, as that has been silenced by the majority. It takes this kind of incident to smack us in the face.

Julie K. Taylor | Light And Matter

Racism exists. It indeed finds it’s way in the cracks and creases of daily life. It is sometimes blatant and often insidious. It can be so ingrained into our being that many feel justified and dismissive. Humanity is like a vast sea – a sea of faces that may seem skewed and undefined from a distance. It is only in relationship that one can come to an understanding that allows one to embrace difference and recognize the beauty of others who are different from ourselves. We are not diminishing our own merit when we give way and merit to others. We essentially are allowing others to receive what they know is theirs but have never had. It is quite audacious to hold the key to someone else’s freedom and rights. It is hard to fathom a 24/7, 365-day, 400-year curfew of sorts covered in a blanket of racism. We all have challenges but we all do not live under that heavy blanket of racism. This is a raw distinction and difficult to acknowledge. What remains so painfully apparent is that George Floyd and others before him have paid an unimaginable, even unto death price to enlighten us. Mr. Floyd,  may you be remembered for who you truly are. Rest in peace, Mr. Floyd.   


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misj@gmail.com

Thank you Julie for bringing these powerful and beautiful images to the conversation.

Nancy

Beautiful photography. Your open compassionate heart are wonderfully displayed here.

Lori Brough

Racism is indeed a concern. The police were supposedly charged in this case. But why hasn’t anything else been spoken about regarding his death. His name hasn’t even been mentioned lately. Or his burial? Race hate has been in the news as long as I have been alive. What became of this was the instigating of senseless rioting I feel was brought on to become political. Rest in peace to the senseless victim’s of anything racial. rest in peace to all the police and service men and women who have lost their life because of all the hate in this world.. May the world find some sort of balance and peace.. God Bless

Kellian donna Clink

This is an amazing essay to give witness to the the communities that came together to mourn, to defy and resist a structure that has throughout our history, even here in Minnesota, sought to oppress, demoralize, and dismiss, and even kill African Americans. I am presently working on a piece for a history conference on the destruction of the Rondo neighborhood, and the reason that the annihilation was so awful was that it was a sanctuary in the midst of places where African Americans were the object of suspicion, degradation, and worse. The Rondo Days celebration that was created to remember the old neighborhood is an act of resistance and social protest, just as the events following Mr. Floyd’s murder are acts of community-building, resistance, response to a staggeringly unjust action, an action that was within the norms of a agency created to protect and defend that instead used their power to subjugate.
These images are important and beautiful, as they capture the events that are ephemeral. One day, the flowers and the images will be “cleaned up” and the people who participated will move on to other urgent work. These images will forever, though, bear witness to the many many people who mourned and raged, who came to understand and to act on their fury. These are the record of the dawn of a historical change that will mean a complete metamorphosis of what police do and how people regard all the structures in their community.

John

Incredible images! Thank you for your keen eye and compassionate mind.

Teresa M. Rank

Oh Julie! This is so moving! I love that the photos are done in black & white. I must see the detail. Like the person in the wheelchair.
Mr. Floyd’s death breaks my heart, and the events after forced me to face my part. Your photos remind me. Thank you

Anne S

Black Lives Matter
Julie, this is sensitive and respectful. You capture the emotion and essence of the people in your photographs and document this pivotal moment in our collective history.
Rest in peace, Mr Floyd.

Barb & Steve

Julie,
Wow, your pictures are beautiful and the story shows how the people of MN have had a front row seat to this tragedy and It is pulling us all to re-examine our lives. Beautiful to see all this through your eyes. There is a time for every purpose under heaven so Bless you and your beautiful heart for writing and taking pictures this MN history.
Steve & Barb K

Phil

Wow; thanks Julie. Your photos are amazing and speak volumes about yet another terrible moment in American History that shouldn’t happen, but continue to occur. Thanks for your keen eye, sensitivity and insights.

Jessie

These photographs beautifully capture the emotion that can be felt throughout the Twin Cities right now. Julie has a way of helping others see both the pain and beauty in her photos.

John Kearney

Thank you Julie. I was there too and I feel that your pictures and narrative capture the essence.

Ty Schwantz

Really great photography! The arrival is to the point and historical. I admire your bravery and skill in telling this story with your beautiful insight

Julie Winkels

Thank-you Julie for the amazing pictures and article. You did a great job writing down your thoughts on that horrific moment and time. Julie

Julie E

Beautifully written and emotionally powerful photography. Your tender heart as always is so empowering!

Bridget Mueller

A very interesting and thoughtful article from Julie Taylor describes a bookmark moment in our lives and future historians will remember and document these events. After reading and studying the photography, I realize how much I have existed in mainstream America and naively haven’t thought much about injustice and discrimination that has existed since the start of America. So many of the historical cultural events that shaped America have been wrong from the coming of the Mayflower to present day social issues. Julie was able to make me stop and think about the racism and hatred that cannot continue. A good read with very descriptive photos. Well done, Julie

B. Teacherson

I love that you have captured not only the righteous anger of the earliest protests but the love and empathy that drove it and persists after things have calmed. Big media attention has diminished after spontaneous uprising gave way to what will hopefully be only the first stages of a long-lasting movement, but images (and thoughts) like these have enduring power.

Ruth Kimball

Grat pictures

Suzanne Hermosillo

Beautiful pictures and words well spoken.

George Willmarth

This is a wonderful piece. Beautifully captured sadness and hope of a critically important time in history. More than poignant because the hope also come through. Thank you to Julie Taylor and the staff of Light & Matter.

Kate Nordby

Thanks for sharing your experience, Julie. Your writing and photos give readers a glimpse into what Minneapolis has seen and felt over the last month. You really get a feel for people being brought together over this tragedy. Your kind heart shines through in your writing and photos.

Kathie

Thank you for this! Julie’s photos tell the story. They touch hearts and capture the many emotions of this time in history. May all who see her work ask where they fit in the story, to help bring justice, peace and love to a hurting world.

Paula

Julie, excellent photos!!! You captured the heartbreaking reality of the grief we all share. My prayer is that the lord will fill our hearts with his compassion
For all people, we are the human race & all in need of God’s loving grace. So appreciate your eye through the lens & your heart for the hurting

Alex Roberts

The images in this are really excellent and they almost didn’t need any words—that’s how good they are. However, I was disappointed at the beginning of your piece, most notably reading unnecessary details (Floyd’s experience w/law enforcement) and your qualifier “alleged” murderer. The world saw the actual killing, so there was no “alleged” killing (we aren’t in court here). I felt much better farther into the piece that you called the officer out and called it murder. And the prose got stronger the farther into it I read. Back to: I LOVED the images—really strong and love the monochrome.

Jiji

I keep finding myself re visiting this over and over.
Julie, I feel as if I was with you.
The photos are crisp and brought tears to my eyes…the words added even more tears.
I will certainly pass this along to my friends.
Beautiful..

Thank you,
Jiji

Teransc Phillip

Thank you Julie for capturing the aftermath of the recent events in Minneapolis. Through your lens, we the viewer are able to gain perspective into this tragic event. Your lens captures the emotion and solace of the hearts and minds of many.

Annalisa Schmaltz

A well made piece… Thank you for being there to document so beautifully and for being in this space with people ❤️

Wing Young Huie

Thank you for the power of your words and photographs

Tami Buschmann

Julie did a beautiful job capturing the emotion after the death of George Floyd. Her pictures were powerful, as were her words. I agree with Julie, racism has existed for many years and it is time to change.

Lori Conley

Julie has captured the powerful emotions of this scene. The images are stirring, her words inspiring. Thank you, Julie.

Taylor

Quite the article.

Jan Taylor

Thank you for your thoughts and this well written article Julie!

Barb

Thank you for sharing this article. Julie, you have an amazing gift for taking photos and telling a story. These photos and your words touched my heart

Rob Gillie

This is … just brilliant work. I have much respect for Julie going to the source, taking these beautiful, astonishing, heart-rending photographs — and then writing these sensitive, thoughtful, compassionate words to accompany them. Ever since Memorial Day I have so often been heartsick, but just as often I have seen signs that, no, change will come this time and we will build ourselves a better America — and this magnificent little piece of words and pictures is one of those signs. Thank you, Julie, from the bottom of my heart.

Nancy Soucier

This documentation of George Floyd’s death is beautifully written and photographed. In her commentary Julie Taylor speaks truths with imagery that touches the heart and calls one to anti-racist action.

Deb

Because Julie has a heart and soul that is deeply caring, she lets the world in and goes where she is compelled to share through her photography and words. Julie’s photographs at the sight of George Floyd’s death are honest. Her words, especially the final paragraph, which I have read over and over again are raw and true and cause me to examine myself and the treatment of others. Matthew 22:36-40 After Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment in the Law, Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Amy

Thoughtful and powerful words Julie. Your photos express great feeling and insight

Carol Ann

Julie has respectfully detailed the facts and emotions around this world-awakening event. Her beautiful photos add powerful impact to imprint upon our hearts and minds so we make change to stop this from happening again.

Carol

Julie has done a remarkable job of describing the events surrounding the tragic death of George Floyd. She is a talented photographer and writer who does an excellent job at conveying the emotions of the crowds and individuals. Her narrative is spot on.

Aethan Hart

A powerful article and images. As a retired television news photographer I understand how difficult it is to go into a situation and capture the emotion beyond the images. Julie has done this and her personal insights are what makes this an excellent story.

Phil Schramm

Julie Taylor,
Thank you for this, another sensitive and all-seeing photo essay. You have captured the people of Minneapolis in their personal but public response to the willful violence of the murder of George Floyd. The composition, sharpness, and contrast of your photos are all top notch.

Karla

Thank you Julie for capturing and sharing a powerful moment in history. To bring perspective and the ability to evoke emotions thru your pictures.

Jean

You have an amazing gift to capture so much emotion through your photography. Your heartfelt words add perspective to what you share. May all take time to find the merit in others.

al storbakken

Great photography! I’ve always said pictures can capture ‘feelings’ much better than words….

Shelley

Beautiful work, Julie! I hope that art such as this will inspire many to actively work for the end of injustice. Thank you!

Wendy

Thank you, Julie, for capturing moments in history that followed the death, the murder of Mr. George Floyd. Your words ring true: “Racism exists. It indeed finds it’s way in the cracks and creases of daily life. It is sometimes blatant and often insidious. It can be so ingrained into our being that many feel justified and dismissive.” Too true. The photo of the two women kneeling and comforting one another has captured my heart as it portrays the heartache but also as the mural proclaims the promise of the resurrection, “I can breathe now.”

Monique

He died in a wrongeful way and that should have never happened. Racism…not in my opinion. Bad cop doing a terrible thing to another human being. As always Julie…awesome pictures!!!!!

Chris

Thanks for sharing your words, Julie. Your photographs and words absolutely captures both the pain and the resilience of the Minneapolis community.

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris
Rodney Johnson

What an unbelievable story of a real man of God who didn’t deserve to die as badly as George did. May God help our whole world to realize that racism exists and needs to end.

Debbie

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. And the second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
Julie, I know you live your life with these verses in mind, and I believe you have succeeded in sharing your heart for others with this article, especially through the powerful images. I’m confident that God will bless your efforts. God bless you!

Jen

Thank you for capturing the anguish, the injustice, the solidarity, and the love this community is experiencing. Beautiful, Julie!

Zack

Wonderful, poignant article. Thank you for your words, Julie.

lee

Great work. Thanks for all you do and for shedding black and white light on the situation.

Kathy perschmann

Thank you for Julie Taylor’s insightful editorial. Her photos are moving and her words an inspiration.

Rachel D.

A thoughtfully written article and powerful images. Thank you Julie. A reminder that this moment can’t pass us, as soon many others have, without real systematic change.

Mark Ridge

Good insights from the article and the photos tell a story of their own as well. Thanks Julie. Power over others has always been mans greatest desire and his greatest downfall. Things are a mess right now, but praying a new and more positive direction can come from it. Thankful we live in a country where our bad things can be put on display for us and the world to see. Now we need to do the right thing and make some needed changes.

James Bischoff

Very well written and insightful with eye opening photographs that help those of us who live in the country understand what is going on in the twin cities and other cities. Thanks so much for sharing your artistic and humanistic photos!

patti christensen

The words here are powerful and ring with truth. And the photos, indeed speak a thousand words….lovely, harsh, heartbreaking, filled with hope and anger. Bravo on this powerful piece. Julie Taylor-you are a blessing in your witness.

Megan

Yes, rest in peace, Mr. Floyd. Your life mattered, and you have changed the world.

Thank you for sharing your photos and thoughts, Julie. <3

Marj

Julie,
Thank you for sharing your powerful images and words.

Alan Taylor

Yes, this is truly a major wake-up call if there ever was one……Thanks Julie, and thank you Matthew for sharing these important images and words! -Al@n

Linda Carlson

To say that a picture is with 1,000 words will always be an understatement with Julie Taylor!! Julie’s sensitivity to the hearts of love and to the consequences of evil in the world is present in every photo she shares! It’s sometimes tempting to just close our eyes to wrongs but we CANNOT ignore evil! World, open your eyes! Step up!