Abstract: After the violent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, demonstrations and riots against police brutality started in numerous cities of the United States under the banner of Black Lives Matter demanding a thorough reform of law enforcement. Several studies examined factors of police violence and discrimination related to the incident. However, we are still short on comprehensive frameworks to adequately explicate the complexity of the events following. Amongst hundreds of similar cases annually, the question arises: what makes the George Floyd incident exceptionally prone to motivate collective social actions of such scale? Applying a framework of collective action theory, we argue for a detailed interpretation of the emerging circumstances, accounting for both traditional conflict theoretical perspectives, as well as the individual, highly situated characteristics of the focal incident—with a special attention towards the COVID-19 pandemic as not only social, but also psychological, economical, and political context.