Kurt Sutter asserted that American "leadership has failed" its people Monday as he echoed a need for change amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the death of George Floyd last week. The Sons of Anarchy creator took to Twitter as anti-racism demonstrations occurred worldwide to postpone his regular Q&A session about the FX show and align himself with the social movement.
"In light of the very real pain and unrest facing our communities this week, answering questions about my fictional TV show didn't seem right," he wrote. "I support, encourage and will continue to participate in the peaceful protests incited by the murder of George Floyd. I hope you will do the same." Dropping links to Black Lives Matter-affiliated organizations, Sutter concluded, "Our leadership has failed us. S— has to change."
Sutter's response to the ongoing movement was called "respecful [and] grateful" by one of his followers, and "utterly beautifully honest" by another. "That's beautiful and that is why your shows have heart," another praised.
As protests continue more than a week after Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced elevated charges against former officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck as Floyd begged for air for several minutes before his death. During an address Wednesday afternoon, Chauvin was revealed to have had his third-degree murder and manslaughter charges increased to second-degree murder, as per the Star Tribune.
The other three officers involved in Floyd's arrest — Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane — were also charged Wednesday with aiding and abetting second-degree murder. Thao watched as Chauvin pressed kneeled on Floyd's neck, and Kueng was one of the first officers on the scene who helped pin Floyd to the ground. Lane has been reported as pointing a gun at Floyd before he was handcuffed, and later asked if officers should roll Floyd on his side as he was restrained.
"This is a bittersweet moment," Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump said in a statement, as per the New York Times. "This is a significant step forward on the road toward justice, and we are gratified that this important action was brought before George Floyd's body was laid to rest. That is a source of peace for George's family in this painful time."