As previously reported by The Inquisitr, on Monday, George Floyd, a 47-year-old unarmed African American man, died in police custody after a Minneapolis Police Department officer pushed his knee into Floyd’s neck for approximately 7 minutes, even as he tried to explain that he couldn’t breathe.
The death sparked protests, some of which have turned violent, not just in Minneapolis but in cities across the country.
On Friday afternoon, a group of about 11 Amish people turned up near downtown Minneapolis to join in the protests. Wearing the traditional black and dark colors of the community, some members held signs. One, for example, read, “I can’t breathe,” referencing Floyd’s dying words. Another poster referenced the Bible, the cornerstone of Amish life, reading, “Thou shall not kill any man.” Another simply read, “Justice for George Floyd.”
The event was captured on video and put up on Twitter by user @NedWhat. As can be heard in the video, some passerby applauded the group’s singing.
The word “Amish” refers to a sect of Christians that are themselves part of a larger group known as Mennonites. The Mennonites as a whole favor simplicity, community, and pacifism. The Amish, which are actually only a small part of the larger Mennonite community, take things a step further and eschew modern technology and assimilation in society at large, tending instead to focus on their own community life.
In the U.S., approximately 250,000 Amish people live in communities in 31 states, mostly concentrated in Pennsylvania and Ohio, with smaller concentrations in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and other states.
In Minnesota, according to Amish America, approximately 3,000 members of the faith live in 14 settlements, including one cluster in the southeastern portion, near the Iowa border, and another in the central-west area of the state.
Owing to their reputation for being “cut off” from the world around them and, as such, being apolitical, sometimes Amish life does indeed butt up against modern political issues.
For example, as McClatchy reported at the time back in 2017, the community of Lancaster, Pennsylvania — the heart of the state’s Amish country — posted signs around town referencing Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policies. A Mennonite woman told a reporter that, 300 years ago, her own community consisted of refugees, who fled religious persecution in Europe and took up residence in the United States.