A sprawling mural painted in memory of George Floyd was unveiled near the corner of East 80th Street and Flatlands Avenue in Canarsie on Monday.
The mural took about a month to create, according to artist Kenny Altidor, who in the past has paid tribute to fallen police officers, firefighters and other first responders.
“This makes me feel good,” he said. “[It was] something I definitely had to do, just like I’ve done for fallen police and firefighters in the area.”
On May 25, Minneapolis police officers arrested Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. During the arrest, Police Officer Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for eight continuous minutes, killing him. The incident sparked global outrage about police brutality and prompted ongoing protests which have continued across the city.
On July 13, elected officials and neighborhood residents came together for the mural’s unveiling, which State Senator Roxanne Persaud said would serve as reminder of how far the Black Lives Matter movement has come — and how much work still needs to be done.
“This will be a reminder that we are overcoming daily struggles and that Black lives still matter,” she said.
“My brother changed the world just like how he said he would,” Floyd’s brother Terrence said Monday at the unveiling. “I still wish I could see him. Now I will jump on a bus to see him in Canarsie.”
The mural depicts George Floyd’s face sitting above a half-earth, with the inscription “Black Lives Matter.”