Rihanna spoke out on social media Friday, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The singer called the anger, sadness, and devastation she has felt "overwhelming" and reflected on the shock of seeing the video of officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on Floyd's neck for several minutes, even after Floyd lost consciousness. Minneapolis has seen protests every night since Floyd's death on Monday, and the incident inspired protests of police brutality and racial inequality across the country.
"For the last few days, the magnitude of devastation, anger, sadness I've felt has been overwhelming to say the least! Watching my people get murdered and lynched day after day pushed me to a heavy place in my heart," Rihanna wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of Floyd. The singer said she had to walk away from social media to avoid "hearing the blood curdling agony in George Floyd's voice again, begging over and over for his life!" She continues to be haunted by the "look of enticement, the pure joy and climax on the face" of Chauvin, whom she called a "bigot, murderer, thug, pig, bum."
"I can't shake this! I can't get over an ambulance pulling up to an arrest, a paramedic checking a pulse without removing the very thing that's hindering it!" Rihanna continued. "Is this that f— normal??? If intentional MURDER is the fit consequence for 'drugs' or 'resisting arrest'....then what's the fit consequence for MURDER???!"
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At the end of her post, she included the names of Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. Arbery was shot and killed by two white men on Feb. 23 after they saw him jogging in Santilla Shores, Georgia. After a video of the shooting leaked, Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael were arrested in Arbery's death. William "Roddie" Bryan, who followed Arbery in a second vehicle and filmed the shooting, was charged as well. All three were charged with felony murder.
Taylor was shot by Louisville, Kentucky police on March 12. Three officers shot Taylor after serving a "no-knock" warrant as part of an investigation into a drug house. According to a wrongful death lawsuit, the officers came into the house without announcing they were officers and began firing. Police claimed Taylor's boyfriend fired first.
On Monday, Floyd was arrested after a grocery store employee accused him of using a counterfeit $20 bill. Chauvin pinned Floyd to the ground with his knee on Floyd's neck, even as Floyd complained he could not breathe. Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd for several minutes, including almost three minutes after Floyd became unconscious. Chauvin and three other officers involved in the arrest were fired. On Friday, after several days of protests in Minneapolis, Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.