Bon Jovi’s new song ‘American Reckoning’ hears band reflect on George Floyd’s death

"When did a judge and jury become a badge and a knee on these streets?"

Bon Jovi have shared a new song called ‘American Reckoning’ that hears them reflect on the recent death of George Floyd.

Also discussing the protests that followed Floyd’s death and this moment in US history, Jon Bon Jovi said he was “moved to write ‘American Reckoning’ as a witness to history.”

“I believe the greatest gift of an artist is the ability to use their voice to speak to issues that move us,” he added in a statement.


Floyd, an African American man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in May after a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes as he laid on the ground during an arrest.

One moment in the song hears Bon Jovi sing: “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/ When did a judge and jury/ Become a badge and a knee on these streets?

Listen to ‘American Reckoning’ below:

The song’s net proceeds will support the Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative through December 31, 2020.

Although ‘American Reckoning’ was recorded after the band finished their postponed new album ‘Bon Jovi 2020’, which was rescheduled from May 15 to the end of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic, it will now feature on the final retail version.


‘Bon Jovi 2020’, the follow-up to 2016’s ‘This House Is Not for Sale’, will feature “a compelling breadth and depth of songwriting from Jon Bon Jovi where he tackles current tough topics such as gun control, veterans’ issues, politics, the meaning of family, and much more,” according to a press release.

Bon Jovi added that “it encompasses life, love, and loss.”