Bon Jovi have turned the last moments of George Floyd’s life into a new song, titled American Reckoning.
In the rock band’s latest release, which dropped on Friday, singer Jon Bon Jovi details the death of Floyd, who was killed by a police officer who kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Including the lyrics: “God damn those eight long minutes/Laying face down in cuff on the ground/Bystanders pleaded for mercy/As one cop shoved a kid in the crowd,” the song asks listeners: “When did a judge and jury/Become a badge and a knee on these streets?”
Bon Jovi also questioned the state of America’s soul with the hard-hitting phrasing: “America’s on fire/There’s protests in the streets/Her conscience has been looted/And her soul is under siege/Another mother’s crying as history repeats/I can’t breathe.”
The song referenced the Black Lives Matter protests, sparked by Floyd’s murder, and the last words the deceased man spoke as he ran out of oxygen: “I can’t breathe”.
Bon Jovi revealed he felt compelled to use his voice to support the Black Lives Matter movement for racial justice.
“I was moved to write American Reckoning as a witness to history,” he told Blabbermouth, “I believe the greatest gift of an artist is the ability to use their voice to speak to issues that move us.”
American Reckoning will appear on Bon Jovi’s forthcoming album, Bon Jovi 2020.