NEWARK, NJ (June 16, 2021)--The statue was commissioned by actor and filmmaker Leon Pickney and it was sculpted by artist Stanley Watts, according to Fox 46.
The artwork was donated to the city and will be on display for at least a year in collaboration with the Division of Arts and Cultural Affairs.
The artwork, according to organizers, is meant to celebrate Floyd’s life. Floyd, a black man, died on May 25, 2020, after he was taken into custody for resisting arrest. A Minneapolis police officer, who knelt on his neck for nearly 10 minutes, while other officers stood by, was found guilty of using excessive force and killing him.
The New York Post reported that prior to the start of the trial for the officer, Derek Chauvin, charged with his homicide, a Minneapolis court awarded a $27 million settlement with Floyd’s family to resolve the lawsuit filed against the city and four cops involved in his death. The family donated $500,000 of that settlement to the neighborhood where Floyd was arrested for using a $20 counterfeit bill to buy cigarettes. The store clerk had called the police and reported the crime.