“Say their Names”

We recognize the victims by “Saying Their Name”.

Photo by BP Miller on Unsplash

George Floyd’s death in police custody on May 25th, 2020, embodies 400+ years of deadly aggression against black people in the United States, many of which occurred in recent memory. During the course of this research, we encounter many of these victims, as we inquire into the genealogy of discipline and punishment and the rise of digitally enabled social justice movements in the United States (Foucault, 1995).

We recognize the victims as we encounter them during our research by “Saying Their Name”.

George Floyd

George Floyd, forty-six, was killed by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25, 2020, after the officer knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. The entire episode was captured on video that went viral. The officer was fired, and has been charged with second-degree murder.

Alton Sterling

Sterling, thirty-seven, was fatally shot on July 5, 2016, outside a convenience stores, by an officer in the Baton Rouge Police Department. Five videos captured the shooting. The Justice Department and the State of Louisiana declined to bring charges.

Philando Castile

Castile, thirty-two, was fatally shot during a traffic stop on July 6, 2016, by a police officer from St. Anthony, Minnesota. His fiancée live streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook. The officer was acquitted of all charges.


Foucault, M. (1995). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison. New York: Vintage Books.

I am a PhD candidate at Copenhagen Business School (Department of Digitalization) researching the rise of social movements in digitally mediated spaces. Connect with me on LinkedIn or write to me on Twitter. Mention this story and let me know your thoughts about this research.



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Shama Patel

Shama Patel


I’m passionate about exploring the entanglement of social and digital, and its implications for our collective future.