Why People Are Sharing '9.29' On Social Media

9.29 post on Facebook

The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin began on Monday, and already new details have emerged from prosecutors' presentation of videotaped killing of George Floyd.

On May 25, 2020, the entire world was given yet another look into the horrors of police brutality against Black bodies, as millions around the world watched the pixelated footage of Floyd’s death.

The 8 minutes and 46 seconds believed to be the amount of time Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck became infamous numbers.

So when people starting sharing posts that said nothing but "9.29" on social, many who hadn't yet caught up on those new details were confused.

What is the meaning of "9.29" in posts on Facebook, Instagram and other social media?

During their opening statement on Monday, prosecutors corrected the previously mistaken calculation. In truth, George Floyd was on held down by Chauvin for a total of 9 minutes and 29 seconds.

Prosecuting attorney Jerry Blackwell broke down the timing of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd into the “three most important numbers in the case.”

For the first 4 minutes and 45 seconds during which Chauvin knelt with his knee on Floyd's head and neck, Floyd cried out for help: for 53 seconds, Floyd flailed due to seizures; and for 3 minutes and 51 seconds, Chauvin kept his knee in place while Floyd remained non-responsive.

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After the number "8:46" was initially released last summer, it became a symbol around the world.

Comedian Dave Chappelle called his 2020 performance special 8:46 in memory of George Floyd's final minutes. The special was devoted to discussing violence perpetrated against Black people.

During the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020, people kneeled on the streets for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

During a Capitol Hill news conference in June, Congressional Democrats knelt during an 8-minute-and-46-second-long moment of silence before unveiling their Justice in Policing Act of 2020.

And outside of the courthouse before Chauvin’s trial began, Rev. Al Sharpton, attorney Benjamin Crump, and members of George Floyd's family got down on one knee for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to remember Floyd’s death.

The difference in timing shouldn’t matter in terms of convicting Chauvin.

If anything, looking at it knowing the updated numbers only makes what happened that much more heartbreaking.

For 8 minutes and 46 seconds or 9 minutes and 29 seconds, Chauvin willingly kept his knee on Floyd’s neck with the intent to kill.

Those numbers represent the corrupt system that has plagued America for generations.

Derek Chauvin is not the only police officer who abuses the badge and terrorizes Black bodies, and 9 minutes and 29 seconds isn’t the only set of numbers that represent their deaths.

These are the horrors that come with being Black in America and the lessons Black people have to teach their children. It doesn’t matter if you’re 12 years old like Tamir Rice or 46 years old like George Floyd.

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Since the release of the change to 9 minutes and 29 seconds, people have taken to social media to voice their thoughts.

It was also revealed during those 9 minutes and 29 seconds, off-duty Minneapolis firefighter and trained EMT, Genevieve Hansen, begged the police officers to let her help Floyd.

As Hansen took her place on the stand, she tearfully explained to the jurors that she pled, begged, and even cursed at the officers because she was so “desperate to help.”

“If you really are a Minneapolis firefighter then you know better than to get involved,” Hansen said Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao told her in response.

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Once Floyd’s lifeless body was loaded into the ambulance, Hansen pulled her phone out to call 911.

She called the police on the police.

It’s heartbreaking to hear people recount their memories of George Floyd’s murder, to see the people who were at the scene take the stand in tears as they relive that gruesome moment.

I hope that justice is served for George Floyd and his entire family.

I hope that one day we don’t have to continue putting Black names in hashtags for the world to start caring about us.

And I hope that one day, our lives will not be measured by our final minutes.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Chicago. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.