In the wake of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin, Academy Award-winning director and activist Spike Lee has released a short film connecting Floyd’s murder to the death of Eric Garner and Radio Raheem, a character in his film, Do The Right Thing.
Titled Will History Stop Repeating Itself?, the video was posted on Lee’s Twitter account with a caption that reads “3 Brothers-Radio Raheem, Eric Garner And George Floyd.”
3 Brothers-Radio Raheem, Eric Garner And George Floyd. pic.twitter.com/EB0cXQELzE
— Spike Lee (@SpikeLeeJoint) June 1, 2020
The video originally debuted on CNN. In an interview with Don Lemon, Lee said, “We are seeing this again and again and again. This is the thing, the killing of black bodies, that is what this country is built upon.”
Lee’s short film combines the murders of Garner and Floyd with a memorable scene from Do The Right Thing, in which Bill Nunn’s character, Radio Raheem, is also put in a chokehold and murdered at the hands of a police officer.
In 2014, Eric Garner died after New York City police officer put him a chokehold. Garner’s death, which was recorded and went viral, became known for his pleas in which he said “I can’t breathe” 11 times.
On May 25, Floyd died after Minneapolis police officer George Floyd pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck as he was handcuffed on the ground. Similar to Garner, Floyd’s murder was captured on video and he could be heard saying “I can’t breathe” repeatedly. Chauvin was later charged with murder and manslaughter.
Photo: Spike Lee