Dezeen Magazine

"They're Going to Kill Me" by Jammie Holmes

Banners of George Floyd's last words including "Please I can't breathe" are flown over US cities

Dallas artist Jammie Holmes has flown banners showing the last words of George Floyd, who was killed in police custody last week, above American cities.

Holmes flew five different banners showing Floyd's final words over Detroit, Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami and New York City on Saturday 30 May.

Jammie Holmes has flown George Floyd's final words  over cities including Detroit

He created capitalised versions of the phrases, "Please I can't breathe", "My stomach hurts", Everything hurts" and "They're going to kill me" in black font so that they could stand out in the sky. The fifth phrase: "My neck hurts" was in red text.

In addition to spreading the words physically, he hopes that photos of the banners in flight are shared widely on social media.

"They're Going to Kill Me" by Jammie Holmes
The artist flew the phrase "They're Going to Kill Me" over New York City

"Airplanes with banners presenting Floyd's final words connected these places across the United States to support Minneapolis in a national protest against police brutality within the African American community," Holmes wrote in an Instagram caption of the images.
"This presentation is an act of social conscience and protest meant to bring people together in their shared incense at the inhumane treatment of American citizens," he continued.

"The deployment of Floyd's last words in parts of its whole across the country underlines a need for unity and the conviction that what happened to George Floyd is happening all over America.⁠"

"They're Going to Kill Me" by Jammie Holmes
"My stomach hurts" was flown over Los Angeles

African-America Floyd died in Minneapolis on Monday 25 May after white police office Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds while pinning him to the ground. Video footage captured Floyd repeatedly saying "I can't breathe".

His death sparked protests that spread from Minneapolis to cities across the country, including Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York City, that have taken place daily over the past week.

Holmes' sky banners form part of a wider response from the creative industry that demands racial justice after Floyd's death in police custody.

The National Organization of Minority Architects has called on the architecture profession to "condemn racism and take an active role in eliminating racial biases" following Floyd's death.

"They're Going to Kill Me" by Jammie Holmes
In Miami he flew the phrase "Everything hurts"

Architects and designers joined over a million people around the world on Tuesday 2 June by posting a black square to Instagram in solidarity with those protesting for racial equality.

Alongside these images, some included links to support funds established for Floyd and those impacted by the protests. These include the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund along with numerous funds to pay the bail of those arrested during the protests.

"They're Going to Kill Me" by Jammie Holmes
"My neck hurts" was flown in Dallas

Graphic designers are also supporting the current protests and the wider Black Lives Matter movement by sharing illustrations and links to resources that people can use to help others and educate themselves.

Photography is courtesy of Jammie Holmes and Library Street Collective.