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8 minutes 46 seconds

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8 minutes 46 seconds (8:46) is a symbol of police brutality that originated from the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States.[1] Derek Chauvin, a police officer, knelt on Floyd's neck, asphyxiating him. The duration that Chauvin spent kneeling was reported for weeks as 8 minutes 46 seconds,[2] and later as 7 minutes 46 seconds,[3] until body camera footage released in August 2020 showed that the actual time was 9 minutes 29 seconds.[4][5][6] In the days following his murder, and the protests that followed, the duration became a focus of commemorations and debates, especially around Blackout Tuesday.[7]

The duration has been specifically referenced in "die-in" protests in Minneapolis, New York, Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Chicago, Denver, and other cities, where protesters lay down for eight minutes and 46 seconds to protest police brutality and the racialized killings by law enforcement officers in the United States.[8] It has also been used in numerous commemorations, vigils and gatherings to recognize Floyd and protest his murder, including at his memorial.[9]



The duration is how long Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd's neck, starting after Floyd was taken from his car and restrained by the Minneapolis Police Department;[10] Floyd was lying unmoving on his stomach. The duration of 8:46 originated from the County Attorney of Hennepin County initial complaint against Chauvin.[11][12][13] The time was based on a bystander's video of the incident, which began with Chauvin's knee already on Floyd's neck.[6]

Weeks later, the prosecution reassessed the time to be 7 minutes and 46 seconds.[1] Despite further questions about the exact time, the county attorney's office said prosecutors did not intend to revisit the timing matter, stating that it did not affect the case and more important matters existed.[14] In August, police body camera footage was publicly released which showed that Chauvin had his knee on Floyd's neck for about 9:30.[4][5][15]

In March 2021, the prosecution and defense teams both cited a more accurate duration of 9 minutes 29 seconds during Chauvin's trial (4:45 as Floyd cried out for help, 0:53 as Floyd flailed due to seizures, and 3:51 as Floyd was non-responsive).[6]

Protests and commemorations

United States senators observe 8 minutes 46 seconds of silence, June 4, 2020.

In addition to the die-ins that have used 8 minutes 46 seconds as their staged length, numerous marches and gatherings have used the duration[16] to mark moments of silence, vigils, prayers, traffic slowdowns[17] or taking a knee.[18] George Floyd's memorial in Minneapolis on June 4, 2020, ended with mourners standing for 8:46 to commemorate Floyd.[9][19][20] In March 2021, Floyd's family, attorneys and supporters knelt for 8:46 outside the courthouse prior to the opening arguments in Chauvin's trial.[21]

Cities and institutions


In St. Petersburg, Florida, city officials announced that from June 2 to June 9, citizens should "join together in a silent and peaceful protest by standing outside on their front porch or yard for 8 minutes and 46 seconds" each night at 8:00 pm.[22]

Following the example of New York City's Empire State Building,[23] the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. has stated that it would go dark for nine nights to acknowledge the nearly nine minutes Floyd was held with a neck restraint.[24]

On June 9, 2020, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued a proclamation declaring 8 minutes 46 seconds of silence at 11:00 a.m. CDT in memory of George Floyd, which coincided with the beginning of Floyd's funeral in Houston, Texas, that day.[25]

On May 25, 2021, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz declared a statewide moment of silence for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, the actual length of time Chauvin knelt on Floyd, for 1:00 p.m. CDT to recognize the one-year mark since Floyd's murder.[26]



Democratic senators observed 8 minutes 46 seconds of silence, with some kneeling, during their caucus meeting on June 4, 2020.[27]



The Google technology company held an eight-minute-and-46-second moment of silence for its employees on June 3, 2020, to honor black lives lost in relation to the murder of George Floyd.[28]

The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq observed a moment of silence lasting 8 minutes and 46 seconds to coincide with Floyd's funeral in Houston, Texas. The exchanges' observations were covered and joined by CNBC.[29] It was the longest moment of silence ever held in the NYSE's 228-year history.[30]

On June 3, 2020, the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball announced they would light up Dodger Stadium for eight minutes and forty-six seconds to honor George Floyd.[31]



In solidarity with a music industry campaign, #TheShowMustBePaused, major streaming services Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music all scheduled special related programming to pay tribute to the murder of Floyd.[32][33]

ViacomCBS aired an eight-minute-46-second-long quasi-public service announcement on 11 of their television channels at 5 p.m. EST on June 1, 2020. At the same time, children's television channel Nickelodeon, another ViacomCBS property, stopped programming for 8:46 and displayed a message in "support of justice, equality, and human rights."[34][35][36]

On June 12, 2020, Netflix released 8:46,[37] a video of newly recorded stand-up by comedian Dave Chappelle, in which he primarily tackles the topic of Floyd.[38] On the same day, Vice News uploaded an 8-minute-46-second-long YouTube video showcasing the protests.

See also



  1. ^ a b Forliti, Amy (June 17, 2020). "Prosecutors: Officer had knee on Floyd for 7:46, not 8:46". AP News. Minneapolis: AP News. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  2. ^ "8 minutes, 46 seconds". St. Cloud Times. May 29, 2020. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  3. ^ Hill, Evan; Tiefenthäler, Ainara; Triebert, Christiaan; Jordan, Drew; Willis, Haley; Stein, Robin (May 31, 2020). "8 Minutes and 46 Seconds: How George Floyd Was Killed in Police Custody". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 2, 2020. Minnesota prosecutors acknowledged Wednesday that a Minneapolis police officer had his knee on the neck of George Floyd for 7 minutes, 46 seconds — not the 8:46 that has become a symbol of police brutality — but said the one-minute error would have no impact on the criminal case against four officers.
  4. ^ a b Willis, Haley; Hill, Evan; Stein, Robin; Triebert, Christiaan; Laffin, Ben; Jordan, Drew (August 11, 2020). "New Footage Shows Delayed Medical Response to George Floyd". The New York Times. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Xiong, Chao (August 3, 2020). "Daily Mail publishes leaked bodycam footage of George Floyd arrest, killing". Star Tribune. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c Levenson, Eric (March 29, 2021). "Former officer knelt on George Floyd for 9 minutes and 29 seconds -- not the infamous 8:46". CNN.com.
  7. ^ Cooper, Gael Fashingbauer (June 2, 2020). "Music industry players including Mick Jagger, Quincy Jones respond to George Floyd's death with Blackout Tuesday: 'This is what solidarity looks like'". CNET. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  8. ^ Pozo, Nathalie (June 2, 2020). "Thousands of protesters hold die-in, march through Boston to protest death of George Floyd". WHDH. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Searcey, Dionne (June 4, 2020). "At George Floyd Memorial, an Anguished Call for Change". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  10. ^ Reyes, Lorenzo (June 29, 2020). "Judge in George Floyd murder case threatens gag order and venue change". USA Today. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  11. ^ Culver, Jordan; Hauck, Grace (May 29, 2020). "8 minutes, 46 seconds and 'inherently dangerous': What's in the criminal complaint in the George Floyd case". USA Today. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  12. ^ "8 notable details in the criminal complaint against ex-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin". KTVZ. June 2, 2020. Archived from the original on June 3, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  13. ^ "Read the complaint charging ex-officer Derek Chauvin with George Floyd's death". PBS NewsHour. May 29, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  14. ^ Bogel-Burroughs, Nicholas (June 18, 2020). "8 Minutes, 46 Seconds Became a Symbol in George Floyd's Death. The Exact Time Is Less Clear". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  15. ^ "Two police bodycam videos in killing of George Floyd released". Tampa Bay Times. Associated Press. August 11, 2020. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  16. ^ "George Floyd protesters undeterred by US curfews: Live updates". Al Jazeera. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  17. ^ "Protesters arrested for slowing traffic on Interstate 40". Greensboro News and Record. Archived from the original on June 27, 2020. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  18. ^ "Snapshot: Zionsville gathers in solidarity to honor George Floyd". Current Publishing. June 2, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  19. ^ "WATCH: George Floyd memorial holds moment of silence for 8 minutes, 46 seconds". PBS NewsHour. June 4, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  20. ^ "8:46: A Number Becomes a Potent Symbol of Police Brutality". The New York Times. The Associated Press. June 4, 2020. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on June 4, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  21. ^ Ellis, Nicquel Terry (March 29, 2021). "George Floyd's supporters kneel for 8 minutes, 46 seconds ahead of Derek Chauvin trial". CNN.com. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  22. ^ "8 minutes and 46 seconds: City Officials announce show of solidarity in St. Pete". I Love the Burg. June 2, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  23. ^ "Empire State Building Goes Dark To Honor George Floyd, Urge Calm". WCBS. June 1, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  24. ^ "The Kennedy Center Will Go Dark For Nine Nights To Commemorate George Floyd". DCist. Archived from the original on June 3, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  25. ^ Walsh, Paul (June 9, 2020). "Gov. Tim Walz calls for 8 minutes, 46 seconds of silence today in honor of George Floyd". Star Tribune. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  26. ^ Jacobsen, Jeremiah (May 24, 2020). "Statewide moment of silence planned Tuesday on anniversary of George Floyd's death". KARE-11. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  27. ^ Coleman, Justine (June 4, 2020). "Democratic senators kneel during moment of silence for George Floyd". TheHill. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  28. ^ Elias, Jennifer (June 3, 2020). "Google CEO says company will hold moment of silence on Wednesday for George Floyd". CNBC. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  29. ^ "New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq hold moment of silence for George Floyd". CNBC. June 9, 2020.
  30. ^ McCrank, John (9 June 2020). "NYSE holds nearly nine-minute silence in honor of George Floyd". Reuters.
  31. ^ "Lights Shine Bright At Dodger Stadium For 8 Minutes, 46 Seconds In A Silent Tribute For George Floyd". CBS Los Angeles. June 3, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  32. ^ Statt, Nick (June 1, 2020). "Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and Amazon unite in support of Blackout Tuesday". The Verge. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  33. ^ Wheeler, André (June 2, 2020). "#TheShowMustBePaused: music industry plans day of silence for George Floyd". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  34. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (June 1, 2020). "ViacomCBS Unveils 8-Minute, 46-Second Blackout Video Tribute to George Floyd – Update". Deadline. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  35. ^ Scribner, Herb (June 2, 2020). "Nickelodeon goes off the air and plays 'I Can't Breathe' video for 8 minutes, 46 seconds". Deseret News. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  36. ^ Eustachewich, Lia (June 3, 2020). "Nickelodeon honors George Floyd by going off air for 8 minutes, 46 seconds". New York Post. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  37. ^ Chapelle, Dave (June 12, 2020). "8:46". YouTube. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  38. ^ Jackson, Lauren Michele (June 18, 2020). "Dave Chappelle's Rough-Cut Humorlessness in "8:46"". The New Yorker. Retrieved July 20, 2020.