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George Floyd October 14, 1973 - May 25 2020

George Floyd October 14, 1973 - May 25 2020 Minecraft Skin
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On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill.[​1] Derek Chauvin, a 44-year-old white man employed as a police officer, knelt on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down, begging for his life and repeatedly saying "I can't breathe".[​2][​3] A second and third officer further restrained Floyd while a fourth prevented bystanders from intervening.[​4][​5]:6:24 During the final three minutes Floyd was motionless and had no pulse[​6][​7] while Chauvin ignored onlookers' pleas to remove his knee, which he did not do until medics told him to.[​8]:7:30

The following day, after videos made by witnesses and security cameras became public,[​9][​10][​11] all four officers were fired. Two autopsies found Floyd's death to be a homicide.[​12][​13] Chauvin was initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter,[​14] to which was later added second-degree murder; the three other officers were charged with aiding and abettingsecond-degree murder.[​2][​15][​7]

Floyd's death triggered demonstrations and protests in over 2,000 U.S. cities and around the world against police brutality, police racism, and lack of police accountability.[​16] In early June, the Minneapolis City Council took action to ban chokeholds and require police officers to intervene against the use of excessive force by other officers, and voted an intent to replace the police department with a "new community-based system of public safety."[​17] The Minneapolis Police Chief canceled contract negotiations with the police union and announced plans to bring in outside experts to examine how the union contract can be restructured to provide

People involved


George Floyd in 2016
George Perry Floyd (age 46) was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and raised in the Third Ward[​19] of Houston, Texas.[​20][​21][​22] In 2014, he moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota.[​23]

Derek Michael Chauvin (age 44) had been a police officer in the Minneapolis Police Department since 2001.[​24][​25] Chauvin and Floyd sometimes worked overlapping shifts as security guards for a local nightclub, but the club's former owner was unsure of the extent to which they knew each other.[​26][​27]

Tou Thao (age 34) started as a part-time community service officer in 2008 and graduated the police academy in 2009. After a two-year layoff he resumed work for the police in 2012.[​24][​28] Six complaints had been filed against Thao, none resulting in disciplinary action.[​24][​29] In 2014, a man claimed Thao handcuffed him without cause, threw him to the ground, and punched, kicked, and kneed him; the man's teeth were broken and he was hospitalized.[​24][​29] The resulting lawsuit was settled for $25,000.[​24]

J. Alexander Kueng (age 26) and Thomas Kiernan Lane (age 37)[​11][​30][​31] were licensed as law enforcement officers in August 2019.[​32][​30] They were in their first week as Minneapolis police officers when Floyd was killed.[​33]

Thao is Hmong American, Kueng identifies as African American, and Lane is white.[​34][​35][​36]

Arrest and death


The intersection of Chicago Avenue and E. 38th Street on May 30. Floyd was killed just left of the store with the rust-colored awning.

Arrest


On the evening of Memorial Day, May 25, 2020, Floyd purchased cigarettes at Cup Foods, a grocery store at the intersection of East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. A store employee believed Floyd had paid with a counterfeit $20 bill.[​5][​8]

Just before 8:00 pm, two Cup Foods employees left the store and crossed the street to an SUV parked in front of a restaurant; Floyd was in the driver's seat and two other adults were in the vehicle.[​5]:1:25[​8]:1:33[​37] The employees demanded that Floyd return the cigarettes, and he refused.[​8]:1:43[​1] The interaction was filmed by the restaurant's security camera.[​5]:0:49[​8]:1:24[​38][​note 1] At 8:01, a store employee called police to report that Floyd had passed "fake bills" and was "awfully drunk" and "not in control of himself".[​5]:1:33[​8]:1:51[​note 2]
width=16 Restaurant security footage beginning approximately 8:09 p.m. on YouTube (5 min 47 sec)

At 8:08, Kueng and Lane arrived, briefly entering Cup Foods before crossing the street to Floyd's SUV.[​5]:1:41[​8]:2:00 Lane drew his gun and ordered Floyd to put his hands on the steering wheel; Floyd complied and Lane holstered his weapon.[​1][​8]:2:10 Someone parked behind Floyd's SUV began recording a video at 8:10.[​5]:1:56[​8]:2:28 Following a brief struggle,[​5]:2:10 Lane pulled Floyd from the SUV and handcuffed him.[​8]:2:20At 8:12, Kueng sat Floyd on the sidewalk against the wall in front of the restaurant.[​5]:2:22[​8]:2:33 According to criminal complaints filed against the officers by state prosecutors, Floyd was "calm" and said "thank you".[​2][​3]Police body camera video captured portions of the incident, and there is no squad car video that shows what happened.[​40]

Chauvin kneels on Floyd's neck


At 8:13,[​5]:2:30 Kueng and Lane told Floyd he was under arrest and walked him to their police car across the street.[​3] Floyd fell to the ground next to the car; the officers picked him up and placed him against the car's door.[​5]:2:42[​8]:3:00 According to prosecutors, Floyd told the officers that he was not resisting, but that he was claustrophobic and did not want to sit in the car.[​8]:3:10[​2][​3] A Minneapolis Park Police officer arrived and guarded Floyd's vehicle (across the street by the restaurant) and the two people who had been in it with Floyd.[​5]:2:53[​41]

At 8:17, a third police car arrived with officers Derek Michael Chauvin and Tou Thao, who joined Kueng and Lane.[​5]:3:32[​8]:3:27 Chauvin assumed command.[​2] According to prosecutors, Floyd told the officers he could not breathe while they tried to force him into the car.[​3] Around 8:18, security footage from Cup Foods shows Kueng struggling with Floyd for at least a minute in the driver side backseat while Thao watches.[​5]:3:54[​8]:3:49 At 8:19, standing on the passenger side of the vehicle, Chauvin pulled Floyd across the backseat from the driver side to the passenger side, then out of the car.[​8]:3:56 Floyd, still handcuffed, fell to the pavement where he lay on his chest with his cheek to the ground.[​1] Floyd stopped moving around 8:20, though he was still conscious.[​5]:4:10
width=16 Witness video showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck on YouTube (10 min 8 sec)

Multiple witnesses began to film the encounter, and their videos were circulated widely on the internet.[​1][​8]:4:06 At 8:20, a witness across the street began recording video showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck, Kueng applying pressure to Floyd's torso, and Lane applying pressure to Floyd's legs, while Thao stood nearby.[​5]:4:13[​8]:4:11[​1] This witness stopped filming when one of the officers ordered him to leave.[​8]:4:35 Also at 8:20, a second person, standing near the entrance of Cup Foods, began recording the incident.[​5]:4:26[​8]:5:08[​20] Floyd can be heard repeatedly saying "I can't breathe", "Please", and "Mama";[​1][​5]:4:44[​8]:4:28 Floyd repeated at least 16 times that he could not breathe.[​8]:5:46 At one point a witness said: "You got him down. Let him breathe."[​42] After Floyd said, "I'm about to die", Chauvin told him to "relax".[​43] An officer asked Floyd, "What do you want?"; Floyd answered, "I can't breathe".[​44] Floyd states: "Please, the knee in my neck, I can't breathe."[​43]

At approximately 8:22, the officers called for an ambulance on a non-emergency basis, escalating the call to emergency status a minute later.[​5]:4:50[​8]:4:42 Chauvin continued to kneel on Floyd's neck.[​8]:5:15 A passerby yelled to Floyd, "Well, get up, get in the car, man", and Floyd, still handcuffed and face down on the pavement, responded, "I can't", while Chauvin's knee remained on his neck.[​8]:5:26 Floyd cried out "Mama!" twice.[​45][​44]Floyd said, "My stomach hurts, my neck hurts, everything hurts", requested water,[​44] and begged, "Don't kill me."[​46] One witness pointed out that Floyd was bleeding from the nose.[​47] Another told the officers that Floyd was "not even resisting arrest right now".[​20] Thao countered that Floyd was "talking, he's fine"; a witness replied that Floyd "ain't fine ... Get him off the ground ... You could have put him in the car by now. He's not resisting arrest or nothing. You're enjoying it. Look at you. Your body language explains it."[​47][​48] As Floyd continued to cry for help, Thao said to witnesses: "This is why you don't do drugs, kids."[​49]

By 8:25, Floyd appeared unconscious, and bystanders confronted the officers about Floyd's condition. Chauvin pulled out mace to keep bystanders away as Thao moved between them and Chauvin.[​50][​51] Bystanders repeatedly yelled that Floyd was "not responsive right now" and urged the officers to check his pulse.[​5]:5:22[​8]:6:53[​1] Kueng checked Floyd's wrist but found no pulse;[​1] the officers did not attempt to provide Floyd with medical assistance.[​8]:6:46 According to the criminal complaint against Chauvin, Lane asked Chauvin twice if they should move Floyd onto his side,[​52] and Chauvin said no.[​8]:7:02 A witness asked, "Did they fucking kill him?"[​53]

Medical response and death


At 8:27 pm, a Hennepin County ambulance arrived.[​5]:5:56[​8]:7:11 Shortly thereafter, a young relative of the owner of Cup Foods attempted to intervene, but was pushed back by Thao.[​5]:6:03 Emergency medical technicianschecked Floyd's pulse.[​8]:7:17 Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd's neck for almost a minute after the ambulance arrived, despite Floyd being silent and motionless.[​8]:7:21 When he finally did lift his knee, it had been there for eight minutes and forty-six seconds.[​5]:6:27[​8]:7:28[​1]

Around 8:29, Floyd was lifted by paramedics onto a stretcher,[​54] then loaded into an ambulance which departed for Hennepin County Medical Center.[​5]:6:35[​8]:7:43[​1] En route, the ambulance requested assistance from the Minneapolis Fire Department.[​5]:6:35[​8]:7:43[​1] At 8:32, firefighters arrived at Cup Foods;[​5]:6:56[​8]:7:56 according to their report, the police officers gave no clear information regarding Floyd's condition or whereabouts, which delayed their ability to find the ambulance.[​8]:7:56[​55] Meanwhile, the ambulance reported that Floyd was entering cardiac arrest and again requested assistance, asking firefighters to meet them at the corner of 36th Street and Park Avenue. Five minutes later, the fire department reached the ambulance;[​8]:8:10 two fire department medics who boarded the ambulance found Floyd unresponsive and pulseless.[​5]:6:56

Floyd was pronounced dead at 9:25 at the Hennepin County Medical Center emergency room.[​5]:7:12[​8]:8:28[​1][​56]

Investigations and criminal charges

Minneapolis police response


Early on May 26, the Minneapolis Police Department issued a statement ("Man Dies After Medical Incident During Police Interaction")[​9] which said nothing about Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck:[​57][​58] "After [​Floyd] got out [​of his car], he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress."[​59] Hours later, after witness and security camera video circulating on the internet contradicted that account,[​60] the department updated its statement, calling its earlier statement preliminary,[​61] and stating that new information had "been made available" and that the FBI was joining the investigation.[​59] The four officers were briefly placed on paid administrative leave[​61] before being fired later that day.[​62]

Autopsies


A criminal complaint against Chauvin, issued May 29, cited preliminary results of an autopsy conducted by the Hennepin County medical examiner, which found "no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation", but found that Floyd suffered from coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease.[​63][​64] The complaint cited the preliminary opinion that the "combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death".[​63][​64]

The medical examiner's final findings, issued June 1,[​65] classified Floyd's death as a homicide caused by "a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained" by officers who had subjected Floyd to "neck compression".[​66][​67]Other significant conditions were arteriosclerotic heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl intoxication, and recent methamphetamine use.[​63][​66] The report states that on April 3 Floyd had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, but does not list it as a fatal or other significant condition.[​68][​69]

Floyd's family commissioned a second autopsy, carried out by Michael Baden, a pathologist and former New York City chief medical examiner who had autopsied Eric Garner,[​70][​71] and attended by Allecia Wilson, director of autopsy and forensic services at the University of Michigan Medical School.[​72][​73] He found that the "evidence is consistent with mechanical asphyxia as the cause of Floyd's death", and that the death was a homicide.[​74][​75][​72] He said Floyd died from "asphyxia due to compression of the neck", affecting "blood flow and oxygen going into the brain", and also from "compression of the back, which interferes with breathing".[​63] He said Floyd had no underlying medical problem that caused or contributed to his death, and that being able to speak does not mean that someone is able to breathe.[​76]

Neither examiner mentioned excited delirium,[​77][​78] a condition which concerned Lane and that he discussed with Chauvin while he had Floyd pinned down.[​79][​80]

State criminal charges


On May 29, 2020, Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, and held at Oak Park Heights state prison.[​81] The next day, his wife of ten years filed for divorce and to change her name.[​82] On June 3, 2020, the charge against Chauvin was upgraded to second-degree murder, and the three other officers were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.[​83]

On June 10, Lane was released on bail;[​84] his attorney asserted that he warned Chauvin of the danger of severe harm to Floyd, and that doing so was all that was required under Minneapolis police regulations at the time.[​85]

Federal investigations


On May 26, the FBI announced it was reviewing the incident at the request of the Minneapolis Police Department.[​86][​87] On May 28, the United States Department of Justice released a joint statement with the FBI, saying that their investigation into Floyd's death was "a top priority" and outlining the investigation's next steps: a "comprehensive investigation will compile all available information and thoroughly evaluate evidence and information obtained from witnesses ... If it is determined that there has been a violation of federal law, criminal charges will be sought".[​32][​88][​89] The Wall Street Journal called this statement "notably strong", given that the department "often takes a more muted tone in describing continuing investigations".[​32]

State civil rights action


The Minnesota Department of Human Rights opened an investigation into the practices of the Minneapolis Police Department on June 2.[​90][​91] On June 5, the Minneapolis City Council authorized the mayor to enter into a restraining order with the State of Minnesota banning choke holds and neck restraints, requiring police officers to intervene against other officers' use of excessive force, and requiring authorization from the police chief or other designate before using crowd-control weapons such as chemical agents and rubber bullets.[​92][​93] On June 8, a Hennepin County Court judge ordered the Minneapolis Police Department to cooperate with a civil rights investigation, and extended the restrictions on the department to require that the chief make discipline decisions in a timely and transparent manner, and that certain outside investigators be given authority to audit[further explanation needed] body-worn camera footage and to file or amend complaints on behalf of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department.[​94][​95]

Memorials and protests

Main article: George Floyd protests
Protesters on May 26 at the site where Floyd was killed[​96]
A memorial vigil at Yates High School, from which Floyd graduated, in Houston, Texas
Along Floyd's funeral procession route in Pearland, Texas on June 9
The area around the location at which Floyd was killed became a makeshift memorial throughout May 26, with many placards paying tribute to him and referencing the Black Lives Matter movement.[​97] As the day progressed, more people showed up to demonstrate against Floyd's death. The crowd, estimated to be in the hundreds of people,[​98][​99][​100][​101] then marched to the 3rd Precinct of the Minneapolis Police.[​100] Participants used posters and slogans with phrases such as "Justice for George", "I can't breathe", and "Black Lives Matter".[​102]

The protests were initially peaceful, but later there was vandalism of stores; at the 3rd Precinct police station windows were broken and fires set.[​103][​104][​105][​106] Police in riot gear used tear gas, flash grenades, rubber bullets and smoke bombs, and some protesters threw rocks at the police.[​100][​107] The media highlighted the apparent differences in aggression between the police response to these protests versus the more measured response to the 2020 United States anti-lockdown protests featuring gun-wielding white protesters.[​107][​108] This sentiment also spread on social media.[​109]

While peaceful protests continued, others again became violent after sundown, with the pattern repeating for several days.[​110][​31] As of June 9, the Star Tribune estimated 570 businesses in the Minneapolis–St. Paul area had been vandalized or destroyed, including 67 destroyed by fire.[​111]

Following the rioting, a nighttime curfew in Minneapolis–Saint Paul and Dakota County was established on May 29. 500 Minnesota National Guardsoldiers were later dispatched to the area to enforce the curfew,[​112] but to little effect, with about 1,000 protesters being able to march peacefully on Interstate 35 well into curfew.[​113]

A public memorial, with Reverend Al Sharpton delivering the eulogy, was held June 4 at North Central University in Minneapolis.[​114] A public viewing and a family memorial was held in Raeford, North Carolina on June 6, near Floyd's hometown.[​115] Floyd's family held a public memorial in Houston on June 8, and a private service on June 9. The family said professional boxer Floyd Mayweather paid for the services.[​116][​117] Floyd's body was on public view on June 8 in his hometown of Houston. Former Vice President and the 2020 Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, met with the Floyd family privately and gave a video message at the funeral. Floyd is buried next to his mother in Pearland, Texas.[​118][​119][​120]

Protests demanding justice for George Floyd, in some cases also to demonstrate against issues with police brutality in their own countries, took place in over 2,000 cities in the US and around the world,[​121] including New York City;[​122] Los Angeles;[​123] Chicago;[​124] Toronto;[​125] Mashhad;[​126] Milan;[​127] Columbus, Ohio;[​128][​129][​130] Denver;[​131][​132] Des Moines;[​133] Houston;[​134] Louisville;[​135] Memphis;[​136][​137] Charlotte, North Carolina;[​138] Oakland;[​139] Portland, Oregon;[​140] San Jose;[​141] Seattle;[​142] outside the White House in Washington;[​143] outside Chauvin's summer home in Windermere, Florida;[​144] and in many other locations.[excessive citations] On May 30, 12 states called up the National Guard,[​145] and at least 12 major cities imposed curfews that weekend.[​146] By June 14, protests had extended into a third week after Floyd's death in many cities, accompanied by calls to reform and defund police departments throughout the United States.[​147]

The length of time that Chauvin had his knee on Floyd's neck, eight minutes forty-six seconds, was widely commemorated as a "moment of silence" to honor Floyd.[​148][​149] It was also used in chants, protest signs, and messages,[​150] as were the words "I can't breathe".[​151]

Numerous statues and monuments honoring persons or events associated with slavery and racism, in the US and elsewhere, were vandalized, removed, or destroyed during the protests (see List of monuments and memorials removed during the George Floyd protests).

Reactions

width=50It has been suggested that this section be split out into another article titled Reactions to the killing of George Floyd. (Discuss) (June 2020)

Family and friends


Terrence Floyd, George's brother, visits the location where he was killed on June 1
Floyd's cousin, Tera Brown, said police "were supposed to be there to serve and to protect and I didn't see a single one of them lift a finger to do anything to help while he was begging for his life". One of Floyd's brothers said: "They could have tased him; they could have maced him. Instead, they put their knee in his neck and just sat on him and then carried on. They treated him worse than they treat animals."[​152] Floyd's brother, Philonese, called for peace and said, "Everybody has a lot of pain right now, that's why this is happening, I'm tired of seeing black people dying."[​153]

Floyd's longtime friend, former professional basketball player Stephen Jackson, expressed anger and sadness, saying video of Floyd's death "just destroyed me".[​154][​155] Floyd's girlfriend, Courtney Ross, asked for the community to respond to his death in a way that honors him: "You can't fight fire with fire. Everything just burns, and I've seen it all day – people hate, they're hating, they're hating, they're mad. And he would not want that."[​156] Selwyn Jones, the brother of Floyd's mother, said that what disturbed him most was "hearing him [​on video] call for my sister".[​157]

Political

Minneapolis and Minnesota


Minneapolis City Councillor Andrea Jenkins, who represented Ward 8, where Floyd's death occurred, was quoted as saying: "My heart is breaking for the tragic loss of life last night near 38th and Chicago. Our community continues to be traumatized again, and again and again. We must demand answers."[​158] On May 26, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan demanded justice and called the video "disturbing".[​20] Walz elaborated, "The lack of humanity in this disturbing video is sickening. We will get answers and seek justice".[​20]

Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey said: "Being black in America should not be a death sentence. For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a black man's neck ... When you hear someone calling for help, you're supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic, human sense."[​86][​11] Two days after Floyd's death he commented: "If most people, particularly people of color, had done what a police officer did late Monday, they'd already be behind bars."[​159][​160] He has said that he believes Floyd's death was a murder.[citation needed]

US Representative Ilhan Omar (whose district includes Minneapolis) called for a federal investigation and said: "It is sickening to watch this black man be killed while helplessly begging for help."[​161] She later added: "The police officer who killed George Floyd should be charged with murder."[​162] Senator Tina Smith and Governor Tim Walz also called for immediate action.[​161] Senator Amy Klobuchar reacted on the following day, saying: "We heard his repeated calls for help. We heard him say over and over again that he could not breathe. And now we have seen yet another horrifying and gut wrenching instance of an African American man dying." She called for the declaration on "a complete and thorough outside investigation into what occurred, and those involved in this incident must be held accountable."[​163] However, as a former Hennepin County attorney, she was criticized for declining to press criminal charges against police during her eight years in that office, including against Chauvin; some called for her resignation from the Senate.[​164][​165][​166]

At a June 7 rally, nine of the Minneapolis City Council's thirteen members pledged to disband the city's police department,[​167] though significant reductions in police staffing may require amending the city's charter[​168][​169]and Frey has expressed opposition to it.[​170][​171] On June 12 the council unanimously adopted a resolution to begin a year-long project to develop "strategies for building [​a] new model for cultivating community safety".[​172]After the City Council banned police chokeholds, Walz called for similar reforms in other communities, [​173] called the Minnesota legislature into a special session on police reform and economic equality[​174] and proposed a police reform package.[​175]

Federal


President Donald Trump sent his condolences two days later via Twitter, saying he requested that the FBI conduct a thorough investigation. He added, "My heart goes out to George's family and friends. Justice will be served!"[​176] Trump also described Floyd's death as "sad and tragic".[​177]

On May 29, President Trump denounced rioting, violence and looting occurring during nationwide protests, tweeting: "These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!"[​178] On June 1, in response to continued protests, President Trump threatened to deploy the military by invoking the [url=en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insurrection_Act_of_1807]Insu
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George Floyd

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to navigationJump to searchThis article is about the African American man killed during a police arrest. For the professional athlete, see George Floyd (American football). For other uses, see George Floyd (disambiguation).
George Floyd
Floyd in 2016
BornGeorge Perry Floyd Jr.
October 14, 1973[1]
Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S.
DiedMay 25, 2020 (aged 46)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
OccupationTruck driver, security guard
Home townHouston, Texas, U.S.
Children5

George Perry Floyd Jr. (October 14, 1973 – May 25, 2020) was an African American man killed by police during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Protests in response to his death, and more broadly to police violence against black people, quickly spread across the United Statesand internationally.

Floyd grew up in Houston, Texas. He played football and basketball throughout high school and college. A blue-collar worker, he was also a hip hop artist and a mentor in his religious community. Between 1997 and 2005, he was convicted of eight crimes; in 2009, he accepted a plea bargain for a 2007 aggravated robbery, serving four years in prison.[2]

In 2014, he moved to the Minneapolis area, finding work as a truck driver and a bouncer. In 2020, he lost his security job during the COVID-19 pandemic. He died while being arrested for allegedly using counterfeit money to buy cigarettes; Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Contents

Early life and education


George Perry Floyd Jr. was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina to George Perry and Larcenia “Cissy” Jones Floyd, and raised in Cuney Homes in the Third Ward of Houston, Texas, a historic black neighborhood, and one of the poorest areas of the city known as Bricks.[3][4] He had six siblings.[5][6]

Floyd's parents broke up, and when he was two his mother moved with the children to the red-bricked Cuney Homes public housing.[7][8][9] The city's Third Ward had many families “scarred” by “poverty, drugs, gangs and violence.”[7] Floyd was called Perry as a child, but also Big Floyd: being over six foot tall in middle school, he saw sports as a vehicle for improving his life.[7]

At Yates High School, Floyd played on the basketball team as a power forward, and as tight end on the footballteam helping lead them to the Texas state championships in 1992; he graduated in 1993.[3][7][8] He had made the varsity football team as a ninth grader; in tenth grade he was also co-captain of the basketball team.[6]

The first of his siblings to go to college, Floyd attended South Florida Community College for two years on a football scholarship, and also played on the basketball team.[7][10][11] George Walker, his recruiter stated, “He was a starter and scored 12 to 14 points and seven to eight rebounds.”[7] Floyd transferred to Texas A&M University–Kingsville in 1995, where he also played basketball before dropping out.[12] Friends and family called him Perry, and characterized him as a "gentle giant."[13][14]

Later life


Floyd returned to Houston from college in Kingsville, Texas in 1995 and became an automotive customizer and played club basketball.[12][15] Beginning in 1994, he had also performed as a rapper using the stage name "Big Floyd" in the hip hop group Screwed Up Click.[16][17][18][19] A New York Times writer described his deep-voiced rhymes as "purposeful," delivered in a slow-motion clip about “‘choppin’ blades’—driving cars with oversize rims—and his Third Ward pride”.[7]

Between 1997 and 2005, Floyd was arrested eight times for drug possession, theft and trespass for which he was successively jailed for about 6 months, 10 months and 10 days, 15 days, and 30 months.[20][7][6] Then, in 2009, he pleaded guilty to a 2007 aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to five years in prison.[3][21][22] According to investigators' probable cause statement, he held a gun to a woman's abdomen during the robbery.[2] He was paroled in January 2013 after almost four years at the Diboll Unit.[12]

After Floyd's release, he became more involved with Resurrection Houston, a Christian church and ministry, where he mentored young men.[3][7][23] He helped his mother Cissy exercise and recuperate after she had a stroke. He delivered meals, and assisted on other projects with Angel By Nature Foundation, a charity founded by rapper Trae tha Truth.[24] Later he became involved with a ministry that brought men from the Third Ward to Minnesota in a church-work program with drug rehabilitation and job placement services.[7]

In 2014, Floyd moved to Minneapolis to find work.[25][26] He was a truck driver and a bouncer, and lived in St. Louis Park.[4][12][27] In 2017, he filmed an anti-gun violence video.[3][14] From 2017 to 2018, he was a security guard for The Salvation Army's Harbor Light Center.[28] In 2020, he lost his security job at a bar and restaurant hit by the COVID-19 pandemic rules.[29] That April, he contracted COVID-19, and recovered after a few weeks.[7][5]

Floyd had five children, including two daughters (ages 6 and 22) in Houston and an adult son in Bryan, Texas.[30][31][32] A former partner lives in Houston with his youngest daughter.[33] He also had two grandchildren.[5] A GoFundMe account to defray Floyd's funeral costs and benefit his family broke the site's record for number of individual donations.[34]

Death

Main article: Killing of George Floyd
On May 25, 2020, Floyd was arrested on a charge of passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a grocery store in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. According to the store clerk, the bill was an obvious fake and Floyd had refused to return the purchased cigarettes when challenged.[35]

He died after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, pressed his knee to Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes during the arrest. Floyd was handcuffed face down in the street,[36][37][38] while two other officers further restrained Floyd and a fourth prevented onlookers from intervening.[39]:6:24[40][41] For the last three of those minutes Floyd was motionless and had no pulse,[36][38] but officers made no attempt to revive him.[42]:6:46Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd's neck as arriving emergency medical technicians attempted to treat him.[42]:7:21

The official autopsy classified Floyd's death as a homicide attributed to cardiopulmonary arrest caused by subdual and restraint.[43][44][45] The toxicologist found several psychoactive substances or metabolites in his system, and the medical examiner noted fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use as significantly contributory to his death, though not the cause.[43][46] A second autopsy, commissioned by Floyd's family and performed by Michael Baden, without access to various tissue and fluid samples, found that the "evidence is consistent with mechanical asphyxia as the cause" of death, with neck compression restricting blood flow to the brain, and back compression restricting breathing.[35]

After Floyd's death, protests were held globally against the use of excessive force by police officers against black suspects and lack of police accountability. Protests began in Minneapolis the day after his death and developed in over 400 cities throughout all 50 U.S. states and internationally.[47][48]

Memorials and legacy


The carriage carrying Floyd's casket to his burial in Pearland, Texas, June 9
Tributes and mural outside Cup Foods, where Floyd died.
width=16 George Floyd Memorial Service in Minneapolis, June 4, 2020, C-SPAN
width=16 George Floyd Funeral Service in Houston, June 9, 2020, C-SPAN

Various memorial services were held across the world. On June 4, 2020, a memorial service for Floyd took place in Minneapolis with Al Sharpton delivering the eulogy.[13][49] Services were planned in North Carolina with a public viewing and private service on June 6 and in Houston on June 8 and 9.[50] Floyd was buried next to his mother in Pearland, Texas.[51][52][53]

Colleges and universities which have created scholarships in Floyd's name include North Central University (which hosted a memorial service for Floyd),[54][55] Alabama State, Oakwood University,[56][57]Missouri State University, Southeast Missouri State, Ohio University,[58][59][60] Buffalo State College, Copper Mountain College,[61][62] and others.[63]

Street artists globally created murals honoring Floyd. Depictions included Floyd as a ghost in Minneapolis, as an angel in Houston and as a saint weeping blood in Naples. A mural on the International Wall in Belfast commissioned by Festival of the People (Féile an Phobail) and Visit West Belfast (Fáilte Feirste Thiar) features a large portrait of Floyd above a tableau showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck while the three other officers turn their backs and each covers his eyes, ears, or mouth in the manner of the Three Wise Monkeys ("See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil").[64][65][66] By June 6, murals had been created in many cities, including Manchester, Dallas, Miami, Idlib, Los Angeles, Nairobi, Oakland, Strombeek-Bever, Berlin, Pensacola, and La Mesa.[67][68]

A bill proposed by US Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, the George Floyd Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act, was designed to reduce police brutality and establish national policing standards and accreditations.[69][70]

The length of time that Chauvin had his knee on Floyd's neck, eight minutes forty-six seconds, was widely commemorated as a "moment of silence" to honor Floyd.[71][72]

The Economist, which made Floyd its June 13 cover story, said that "His legacy is the rich promise of social reform."[73]

References

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  32. ^ "George Floyd's son joins Texas protesters in peaceful demonstration Archived June 4, 2020, at the Wayback Machine," KTRK-TV, (a local ABC Newsaffiliate), June 1, 2020.
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  35. ^ Jump up to: a b
  36. ^ Jump up to: a b Complaint – State of Minnesota v. Derek Michael Chauvin Archived May 30, 2020, at the Wayback Machine, Minnesota District Court, Fourth Judicial District, File No. 27-CR-20-12646. May 29, 2020.
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  38. ^ Jump up to: a b
  39. ^ (video @ YouTube Archived June 2, 2020, at the Wayback Machine)
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  42. ^ Jump up to: a b (video @ YouTubeArchived June 1, 2020, at the Wayback Machine)
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