New Jersey erects 700-pound bronze statue of George Floyd

New Jersey erects 700-pound bronze statue of George Floyd
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Newark, N.J., Mayor Ras J. Baraka unveiled a statue of George Floyd on Wednesday outside of Newark's City Hall.

The sculpture, which is 700 pounds and made of bronze, commemorates Floyd’s death after he was pinned down by a Minneapolis police officer in May 2020. The statue will be in the city for at least a year, according to CBS News.

“George Floyd represents a lot more than himself at this point, at this juncture in history. Congress is contemplating a George Floyd in policing bill right now. All of the activity that took place around this country around the world because of the untimely and ferocious and vicious death — murder — of George Floyd and all of the activism that sparked out of it, you know, is worth us pausing and paying attention to,” Baraka said during the unveiling. 

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The artwork was commissioned by filmmaker Leon Pickney and made by artist Stanley Watts. 

During the conference, Baraka spoke about how Emmett Till’s death and the activism of Till’s mother and others helped spark the civil rights movement, and said that “we believe George Floyd has the same impact that today as Emmett Till's death did then.”

The mayor hoped that people walking past the artwork would be inspired to bring about their own change in the city and state.

“And hopefully when people walk by and they see it and they participate [in] it, hopefully it inspires them to become active in the things, the struggles that are happening right here in Newark and right here in New Jersey,” Baraka said.