April 22, 2021

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Film Club: ‘Inside the Battle Over George Floyd Square’

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2. After watching, think about these questions:

  • What questions do you still have?

  • What connections can you make between this film and your own life or experience? Why? Does this film remind you of anything else you’ve read or seen? If so, how and why?

3. An additional challenge | Respond to the essential question at the top of this post: What does the debate over a memorial site tell us about the struggle for racial justice in one city, and for America?

4. Next, join the conversation by clicking on the comment button and posting in the box that opens on the right. (Students 13 and older are invited to comment, although teachers of younger students are welcome to post what their students have to say.)

5. After you have posted, try reading back to see what others have said, then respond to someone else by posting another comment. Use the “Reply” button or the @ symbol to address that student directly.

6. To learn more, read “Ten Months After George Floyd’s Death, Minneapolis Residents Are at War Over Policing.” John Eligon and Tim Arango:

MINNEAPOLIS — The sacred intersection where George Floyd died beneath the knee of a police officer has seen such an increase in violence that food delivery drivers are afraid to venture there. There have been gun battles, with bloodied shooting victims dragged to ambulances because of barricades keeping the police and emergency vehicles away.

“Having no police: This is the experiment right here,” said P.J. Hill, a leader of Worldwide Outreach for Christ, a church that has been on that corner in Minneapolis for almost 40 years. “This is their one-block experiment.”

Residents all over town still complain of officers using excessive force, like during a recent confrontation in which a white officer appeared to wind up and punch a Black teenager. And officers accuse some community members of antagonizing them, like in a recent dispute over a homeless encampment that erupted into a melee with punches and pepper spray.

Ten months ago, Minneapolis, and the country, seemed to coalesce around the belief that policing needed an overhaul after gruesome video footage surfaced of the last moments of Mr. Floyd’s life. Now, with the murder trial of the officer who knelt on Mr. Floyd’s neck scheduled to begin on Monday, the struggle over what to overhaul and how to do it has left Minneapolis at war with itself over public safety and the role of the police.

You can also follow Times coverage of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged in the death of George Floyd, here.

Want More Film Club?

See all the films in this series.

Read our list of practical teaching ideas, along with responses from students and teachers, for how you can use these documentaries in the classroom.

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