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Defining Progress | A community pulse check 1 year after the death of George Floyd

Local 5 breaks down the events surrounding George Floyd's death in Des Moines and what the community has done to move the needle forward.

Local 5 News, Khalil Maycock, Lakyn McGee, Rachel Droze, Stephanie Angleson, Eva Andersen, Hollie Schlesselman

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George Floyd, a Black man, was murdered along the side of a street in Minneapolis by a police officer who held his knee along Floyd's neck for nine and a half minutes on May 25, 2020. 

A Minnesota jury ruled Derek Chauvin was responsible for Floyd's death just one month ago, but last year, many feared Chauvin wouldn't be held accountable for his actions in the court of law. 

So, they took to the streets, not just for Floyd, but for the countless Black Americans who are killed at the hands of police in the country every year, chanting "I can't breathe," "hands up, don't shoot" and "Black lives matter". 

Floyd's death, captured on camera for the entire world to see, brought a greater sense of urgency to address police brutality in the United States. 

While there have been many killed by the hands of police in this country, the fact that someone caught Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck brought it from lines in a news story to a video that can be viewed on numerous mobile platforms. 

Protests sparked across the country within hours, the first in Des Moines happened just days following Floyd's death. Some turned violent among smaller groups, with demonstrators being tear-gassed and some police cars vandalized. 

The calls for equity and equality for all grew louder and louder. Iowa worked to pass some legislation to address those calls, but advocates say even those aren't enough or are the complete opposite of what the state needs. 

Iowans found during protests that they can serve their community immediately, without help from the government. They went from the bottom up, not the top down. 

Local 5 is breaking down the events surrounding George Floyd's death in Des Moines and what the community has done to move the needle forward.