A hologram commemorating the life of George Floyd was unveiled in Richmond, Virginia, dubbed "A Monumental Change: The George Floyd Hologram Memorial Project." However, the installation's first stop wasn't without incident.
Floyd's brother Philonise "P.J." Floyd spoke during a small gathering on July 28 as part of a first look at the installation. "I'm hurting right now," he said, via VPM. "I'm happy to be here. But it's just hard just being here, looking at my brother. Never thought I'd see my brother on a hologram. Always thought that we would grow old, fish and die off together." He also called for an end to systemic racism. "Starting right here, where it should have been started years ago, we can start here right now and put it together. We can have unity. That's what my brother would want."
Despite Floyd's call for unity, there was an unfortunate altercation the following day. The hologram itself was projected above the site where a Robert E. Lee statue had stood just a month prior. At one point during the event, a white woman started yelling racist remarks. "This is my city," she began, according to TMZ. "Look at that n— s—!"
George Floyd was killed on May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, following allegations he'd tried to pay with a counterfeit $20 bill. After police arrived, he was detained and eventually killed by former officer Derek Chauvin, who'd pressed his knee against the back of his neck for nearly nine minutes. In the full bodycam footage that was released on Friday, Floyd can be heard begging for the cops not to shoot him as one of the officers pulls a gun on him, as well as his final moments where he pleaded with the officers multiple times that he couldn't breathe.
In the days that followed, protests erupted in Minneapolis as well as several cities across the U.S. and the globe calling for widespread police reform, including an end to the brutality that's disproportionately aimed at minorities. In several cities, the protests have continued into August. In response, several local governments have reallocated funds away from their police force and investing in other community projects. Some, like Minneapolis, are reimaging their police force altogether.