The Outpouring of Love for George Floyd
Imagine having an adult male after handcuffing you, laying your body on the hot asphalt road, and putting his knee, with his weight, on your neck: one minute, two minutes, more than eight minutes of being held down. You begged to be let up. After about six minutes into this drama, you are not responding – no movement. Finally, you are rushed to a hospital – most likely you are already dead, if not, you die minutes later. This was what George Floyd experienced during his final moments on this earth one week ago today.
George Floyd’s Final Report
Witnesses standing near Floyd’s body pleaded with the policeman to stop his strangulation. Floyd was not moving, but the policeman continued his attack on the 46-year-old African American. Later the Minnesota police reported that Floyd had died as a result of a “medical accident” in “interacting with the police.” No one who saw the video of the incident saw any interaction – Floyd was handcuffed and then put on the ground. It didn’t appear there was any resisting arrest. How can the “medical accident” be explained? What was the accident? How was it medical? As a result, four white policemen were fired from their job. Days later, Officer Derek Chauvin, the man who had his knee on Floyd’s neck, was put in jail and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Demonstrators throughout the U.S. are waiting to see if and with what the other three officers, from Minneapolis, will be charged – or, will they?
Floyd grew up in Houston, Texas’ Third Ward. This was known as a predominantly black area. He was a tall man, at 6’6″ and he was a high school standout in football. He played in the 1992 state championship game in the Houston Astrodome. In 2007 Floyd was charged with an armed robbery during a home invasion in Houston. Two years later, he was sentenced to five years in prison. Last Monday, police were called after Floyd allegedly attempted to pass a $20 bogus bill to buy cigarettes.
In 2014 Floyd learned that several of his friends had moved to Minneapolis. Floyd soon followed his friends and he landed a job working security at the Salvation Army. Eventually, he started working two jobs, one as a truck driver, another as a bouncer at Conga Latin Bistro. While at the bistro, he was known as “Big Floyd.” The “Gentle Giant” leaves behind a six-year-old daughter living in Houston with her mother. Floyd also has five other children.
George Floyd, RIP
As everyone else in America celebrated Memorial Day, Floyd spent the last few minutes of his life lying on the road. It is said that Floyd always maintained his body, which showed an impressive physique and muscles. He was known as a husband, father, athlete, and people who knew him said he was a “beautiful spirit” and “gentle giant.” Friends say he was a cheerful and kind person who never harmed anyone in his life. Those same people will always remember his last words, as he gasped for air, as he had difficulties saying, “Mom,” “I cannot breathe!” and “Let me get up.” Then he just laid there for more than two minutes, showing no movement, showing no life.
It feels like George Floyd’s senseless murder, like so many others, might bring about some changes in the United States. Although this will not bring him back, or heal those people who are hurting, perhaps his death will bring us something America seeks – time will tell.