George Floyd

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

George Floyd
George Floyd.png
Floyd in 2016
Born
George Perry Floyd Jr.

(1973-10-14)October 14, 1973[1]
Died (aged 46)
NationalityAmerican
Other namesBig Floyd
EducationYates High School, South Florida State College, Texas A&M University–Kingsville
Occupation
  • Truck driver
  • security guard
  • rapper
Partner(s)Courtney Ross (2017–2020; engaged until his death)[2]
Children5

George Perry Floyd Jr. (October 14, 1973 – May 25, 2020) was an African American man killed during an arrest after a store clerk alleged he had passed a counterfeit $20 bill in Minneapolis. A white police officer named Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for a period initially reported to be 8 minutes and 46 seconds.[note 1][4][8] After his death, protests against police brutality, especially toward black people, quickly spread across the United States and internationally.

Born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Floyd grew up in Houston, Texas, playing football and basketball throughout high school and college. He was a hip hop artist and served as a mentor in his religious community. Between 1997 and 2005, he was convicted of eight crimes. He served four years in prison after accepting a plea bargain for a 2007 aggravated robbery in a home invasion.[9] In 2014, he moved to the Minneapolis area, residing in the nearby suburb of St. Louis Park, and worked as a truck driver and bouncer. In 2020, he lost his security job during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Early life and education

Floyd was born on October 14, 1973, in Fayetteville, North Carolina to George Perry and Larcenia "Cissy" Jones Floyd.[10][11] He had four siblings.[12][13][14]

Floyd's parents separated and, when he was two, his mother moved with the children to the Cuney Homes public housing,[15][16][17] known as Bricks, in Houston's Third Ward, a historic black neighborhood and one of the poorest areas of the city.[10][11][15] Floyd was called Perry as a child, but also Big Floyd; being over six feet (183 cm) tall in middle school, he saw sports as a vehicle for improving his life.[15]

Floyd graduated from Yates High School in 1993. While there, he was co-captain of the basketball team playing as a power forward. He was also on the football team as a tight end, and in 1992, his team went to the Texas state championships.[10][15][16][13]

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.[15][18][19] He transferred to Texas A&M University–Kingsville in 1995, where he also played basketball before dropping out.[20] Friends and family characterized him as a "gentle giant".[21][22] At his tallest he was 6 feet 6 inches (198 cm)[23][24][25] though by the time of his autopsy he was 6 feet 4 inches (193 cm) tall and weighed 223 pounds (101 kg).[26]

Later life

Floyd returned to Houston from college in Kingsville, Texas, in 1995 and became an automotive customizer and played club basketball.[20][27] Beginning in 1994, he performed as a rapper using the stage name Big Floyd in the hip hop group Screwed Up Click.[28][29][30][31] The New York Times 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".[15] The second rap group he was involved in was "Presidential Playas" and he worked on their album Block Party released in 2000.[32][33]

Between 1997 and 2005, Floyd served eight prison terms on various charges, including drug possession, theft, and trespass.[9][15][13] In 1997, at age 23, Floyd was arrested when police caught him delivering less than one gram of cocaine to another person, for which he was sentenced to six months in prison. The following year, Floyd was arrested twice for theft, receiving a sentence of 10 months for one count and 10 days for the other. In 2001, Floyd was arrested and sentenced to 15 days in jail for failing to provide his name, address, or birth date to a police officer. Between 2002 and 2005, he was arrested four more times: twice for drug possession and once for delivering, in each case less than a gram of cocaine, and once for criminal trespassing. He was sentenced to a total of about 30 months in jail for those four crimes. In 2009, he was sentenced to five years in prison for armed robbery in a home invasion[34][35] and was paroled in January 2013.[20]

After Floyd's release, he became more involved with Resurrection Houston, a Christian church and ministry, where he mentored young men.[10][15][36] He helped his mother recuperate after a stroke. He delivered meals and assisted on other projects with Angel By Nature Foundation, a charity founded by rapper Trae tha Truth.[37] 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.[15]

In 2014, Floyd moved to Minneapolis to help rebuild his life and find work.[38][39] He was a truck driver and a bouncer, and lived in St. Louis Park.[11][20][40] In 2017, he filmed an anti-gun violence video.[10][22] From 2017 to 2018, he was a security guard for a Salvation Army facility.[41] In 2019, George Floyd worked security at the El Nuevo Rodeo club, where police officer Derek Chauvin also worked off-duty as a security guard.[42] In 2020, Floyd lost his security job at a bar and restaurant affected by the COVID-19 pandemic rules,[43] and in April of that year contracted COVID-19 himself, but recovered a few weeks later.[15][12]

Floyd had five children, including two daughters (aged 6 and 22 at the time of his death) and an adult son.[44][45][46][47] He also had two grandchildren.[12] A GoFundMe account to support Floyd's funeral costs and benefit his family broke the site's record for number of individual donations.[48]

Death

On May 25, 2020, Floyd was arrested after allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a grocery store in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of Minneapolis.[49] He died after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, pressed his knee to Floyd's neck for over eight minutes[note 1] during the arrest. Floyd was handcuffed face down in the street,[50][51][52] while two other officers further restrained Floyd and a fourth prevented onlookers from intervening.[53]:6:24[54][55] During the final two minutes,[56] Floyd was motionless and had no pulse.[57][58] Though the officers called for medical assistance, they took no action to treat him.[59]:6:46 Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd's neck as emergency medical technicians arrived.[59]:7:21

The official autopsy report classified Floyd's death as a homicide attributed to cardiopulmonary arrest caused by subdual and restraint. Fentanyl intoxication and methamphetamine use were listed as "significant conditions".[discuss][26][60][61][62] 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.[49]

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 cities throughout all 50 U.S. states and internationally.[63][64]

Memorials and legacy

The carriage carrying Floyd's casket to his burial in Pearland, Texas, June 9
Large area of sidewalk covered in flowers and other tributes beside a building with a mural painted on the wall
Tributes and mural outside Cup Foods, where Floyd died.
George Floyd mural created by protesters in Portland, Oregon

Several memorial services were held. On June 4, 2020, a memorial service for Floyd took place in Minneapolis with Al Sharpton delivering the eulogy.[21][65] Services were planned in North Carolina with a public viewing and private service on June 6 and in Houston on June 8 and 9.[66] Floyd was buried next to his mother in Pearland, Texas.[67][68][69]

Colleges and universities which have created scholarships in Floyd's name included North Central University (which hosted a memorial service for Floyd),[70][71] Alabama State, Oakwood University,[72][73] Missouri State University, Southeast Missouri State, Ohio University,[74][75][76] Buffalo State College, Copper Mountain College,[77][78] and others.[79] Amid nationwide protests over Floyd's killing, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his wife Patty Quillin made a $120 million donation to be split equally among Morehouse College, Spelman College and the United Negro College Fund.[80] The donation was the largest ever made to historically black colleges and universities.[81]

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) featured 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").[82][83][84] One Houston mural is on the side of Scott Food Mart in the Third Ward,[85] while the other is on the property of The Breakfast Klub restaurant in Midtown.[86]

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.[87][88]

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.[89][90]

The length of time that Chauvin was initially believed to have had his knee on Floyd's neck, eight minutes 46 seconds, was widely commemorated as a "moment of silence" to honor Floyd.[91][92][note 1]

Floyd's death was featured prominently in The Economist, with the magazine running an obituary, multiple articles, and numerous reader letters, ultimately making the legacy of his death its June 13 cover story.[93] It wrote that his legacy "[is] the rich promise of social reform."[94]

On September 18, 2020, the Minneapolis City Council approved designating the section of Chicago Avenue between 37th and 39th Streets as George Perry Floyd Jr. Place, with a marker at the intersection with 38th Street where the incident took place. The intersection had been the location of a makeshift memorial that emerged the day after his death.[95]

On 6 October 2020, Amnesty International delivered a letter with one million signatures from around the world to the US Attorney General William Barr to demand justice for George Floyd. The human rights advocacy group demanded that the police officers involved in the killing of George Floyd be held accountable.[96]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c The initial criminal complaint gave the duration as 8:46, which came to be often cited by protesters and the media. Prosecutors revised this about three weeks later to 7:46.[3][4] In August, police body camera footage was released, which showed the duration to be about 9:30.[5][6][7]

References

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  3. ^ Bogel-Burroughs, Nicholas (June 18, 2020). "8 Minutes, 46 Seconds Became a Symbol in George Floyd's Death. The Exact Time Is Less Clear". The New York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2020. Yet the revised time provided by prosecutors conflicts with videotapes obtained by The New York Times after the May 25 killing along a Minneapolis street. The videos show Mr. Chauvin's knee on Mr. Floyd's neck for at least eight minutes and 15 seconds.
  4. ^ a b "Prosecutors say officer had knee on George Floyd's neck for 7:46 rather than 8:46". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. June 18, 2020. Archived from the original on June 23, 2020. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
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External links

External video
video icon George Floyd Memorial Service in Minneapolis, June 4, 2020, C-SPAN
video icon George Floyd Funeral Service in Houston, June 9, 2020, C-SPAN