Eight minutes 46 seconds

Eight minutes 46 seconds (8:46) is a symbol of police brutality associated with the killing of George Floyd,[1] who died in police custody after officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. The duration was reported for weeks as 8:46 until prosecutors acknowledged an error and revised the length of time to 7:46.[1][2][3] In the days following his death, and the protests that followed, the 8:46 time span has become a focus of commemorations and debates, especially around Blackout Tuesday.[4]

The time has been specifically referenced in "die-in" protests in Minneapolis, New York, Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Chicago, Denver and other cities, where protesters lie down for eight minutes and 46 seconds to protest police brutality and the racialized killings by law enforcement officers in the United States.[5] The timespan has also been used in numerous commemorations, vigils and gatherings to recognize Floyd and protest his killing, including at his memorial on June 4, 2020.[6]


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;[7] Floyd was lying restless on his stomach. The duration of 8:46 originates from the Hennepin County Attorney's initial complaint against Chauvin.[8][9][10]

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.[11] In August, police body camera footage was publicly released, which showed that Chauvin had his knee on Floyd's neck for about 9:30.[12][13][14]

Protests and commemorationsEdit

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

In addition to the die-ins that have used eight minutes 46 seconds as their staged length, numerous marches and gatherings have used the duration[15] to mark moments of silence, vigils, prayers, traffic slowdowns[16] or taking a knee.[17] George Floyd's memorial in Minneapolis on June 4, 2020, ended with mourners standing for 8:46 to commemorate Floyd.[6][18][19]

Cities and institutionsEdit

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 P.M.[20]

Following the example of New York City's Empire State Building,[21] 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.[22]

On June 9, 2020, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued a proclamation declaring eight 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.[23]


Democratic Senators observed eight minutes 46 seconds of silence, with some kneeling, during their caucus meeting on June 4, 2020.[24]


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 death of George Floyd.[25]

The New York Stock Exchange observed 8:46 of silence to coincide with Floyd's funeral in Houston, Texas. This was the longest moment of silence ever held in its 228-year history.[26]

On June 3, 2020, the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team announced they were lighting up their home sports stadium to honor George Floyd.[27]


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 death of Floyd.[28][29]

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."[30][31][32]

On June 12, 2020, Netflix released 8:46,[33] a video of newly recorded stand-up by comedian Dave Chappelle, in which he primarily tackles the topic of Floyd.[34]


  1. ^ a b c 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. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "8 minutes, 46 seconds". St. Cloud Times. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Reyes, Lorenzo (June 29, 2020). "Judge in George Floyd murder case threatens gag order and venue change". USA Today. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "8 notable details in the criminal complaint against ex-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin". KTVZ. June 2, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  10. ^ "Read the complaint charging ex-officer Derek Chauvin with George Floyd's death". PBS NewsHour. May 29, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  11. ^ 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: The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Xiong, Chao (August 3, 2020). "Daily Mail publishes leaked bodycam footage of George Floyd arrest, killing". Star Tribune. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  14. ^ "Two police bodycam videos in killing of George Floyd released". Tampa Bay Times. Associated Press. August 11, 2020. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  15. ^ "George Floyd protesters undeterred by US curfews: Live updates". Al Jazeera. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  16. ^ "Protesters arrested for slowing traffic on Interstate 40". Greensboro News and Record. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  17. ^ "Snapshot: Zionsville gathers in solidarity to honor George Floyd". Current Publishing. June 2, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  18. ^ "WATCH: George Floyd memorial holds moment of silence for 8 minutes, 46 seconds". PBS NewsHour. June 4, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  19. ^ "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.
  20. ^ "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.
  21. ^ "Empire State Building Goes Dark To Honor George Floyd, Urge Calm". WCBS. June 1, 2020. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  22. ^ "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.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ Coleman, Justine (June 4, 2020). "Democratic senators kneel during moment of silence for George Floyd". TheHill. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  25. ^ Elias, Jennifer (June 3, 2020). "Google CEO says company will hold moment of silence on Wednesday for George Floyd". CNBC. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  26. ^ McCrank, John (9 June 2020). "NYSE holds nearly nine-minute silence in honor of George Floyd". Reuters.
  27. ^ "Lights Shine Bright At Dodger Stadium For 8 Minutes, 46 Seconds In A Silent Tribute For George Floyd". June 3, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  28. ^ Statt, Nick (June 1, 2020). "Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and Amazon unite in support of Blackout Tuesday". The Verge. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  29. ^ Wheeler, André (June 2, 2020). "#TheShowMustBePaused: music industry plans day of silence for George Floyd". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  30. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (June 1, 2020). "ViacomCBS Unveils 8-Minute, 46-Second Blackout Video Tribute to George Floyd – Update". Deadline. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ Chapelle, Dave (June 12, 2020). "8:46". YouTube. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  34. ^ Jackson, Lauren Michele (June 18, 2020). "Dave Chappelle's Rough-Cut Humorlessness in "8:46"". The New Yorker. Retrieved July 20, 2020.

External linksEdit