A 700 pound George Floyd statue has just been unveiled in Newark, New Jersey.
On Wednesday, the bronze statue of George Floyd, which weighs 700 pounds, was unveiled at Newark City Hall.
It depicts Floyd sat on a bench in an undershirt and pants, a reflection of what he was wearing the day he was murdered by former police officer, Derek Chauvin.
Officials have said that the masterpiece will remain in front of the City Hall for at least a year in the hopes that it will serve as a reminder for people to fight against racial injustice.
Ras Baraka, the city’s mayor said this: “George Floyd represents a lot more than himself at this juncture in history.”
“Hopefully when people walk by it and they see it…hopefully it inspires them to become active in the struggles that are happening right here in Newark and right here in New Jersey.”
The artist behind the statue, Stanley Watts, and the man who commissioned and donated the statue, Leon Pickney, also took part in the unveiling ceremony.
Pickney reiterated the mayor’s words and said that we have to remember what happened in May 2020 in order to move forward in the fight for equality.
“The statue was to cause them to remember why they marched during such a horrific pandemic and I didn’t want them to go back to a status quo,” he said, “The world needed a peaceful George. The world needed him relaxed and chilling on a bench and that’s what we produced and we produced him larger than life, because, after death, George will be remembered.”
The ceremony was held alongside the announcement that Juneteenth would finally become a federal holiday.
The day is used to celebrate the end of slavery in the United States.
George Floyd was murdered back in 2020 after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for over 7 minutes, eventually killing him.
Chauvin was found guilty of all 3 charges, including second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
His sentencing is set to take place June 25th.