George Floyd

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For his death, see Killing of George Floyd.

George Floyd
George Floyd mural Mauerpark Berlin 2020-05-30 05.jpg
A mural of Floyd in Berlin
Born
George Perry Floyd Jr.

(1973-10-14)October 14, 1973[1]
Died (aged 46)
Other namesBig Floyd
Occupation
  • Truck driver
  • security guard
  • rapper
Home townHouston, Texas, U.S.
Children5

George Perry Floyd Jr. was an African American man killed during an arrest after someone said he was trying to use a fake $20 bill. A white police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Floyd's neck for almost 8 minutes[note 1][2][3] Many people were sad and angry about his death, which led to many protests in order to stop violence and racism against Black people.

George Floyd was born in North Carolina. He grew up in Houston, Texas. He played football and basketball throughout high school and college. He held several jobs, and 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 armed robbery, serving four years in prison.[4] In 2014, he moved to Minneapolis, finding work as a truck driver and a bouncer. In 2020, he lost his security job during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Early life and education[change | change source]

George Floyd was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina to George Perry and Larcenia "Cissy" Jones Floyd. He had four brothers and sisters.[5]

When he was 2, he and his brothers and sisters moved with their mother to Houston, Texas. They lived in public housing[6] in the Third Ward, which is one of Houston's poorest neighborhoods. He was called Perry.

He played basketball and American football in high school.[7]

Floyd went to South Florida Community College for two years on a football scholarship.[8][9] He then transferred to Texas A&M University–Kingsville in 1995 before dropping out.

Some people called Floyd a "gentle giant."[10][11] He was 6 feet 4 inches (193 cm) tall and weighed 223 pounds (101 kg).[12]

Later life[change | change source]

Floyd returned to Houston in 1995 and became an automotive customizer and played club basketball.[13][14] He performed as a rapper from 1994 to 1997 using the stage name Big Floyd in the hip hop group Screwed Up Click.[15][16][17][18]

Floyd had many jobs. He got into trouble with the law several times. From 1997 to 2005, he went to prison 8 times. Some of the things he went to jail for were drug possession, theft and home invasion.[4][19][20][note 2]

After he left jail, Floyd tried to turn his life around. He mentored other young men as part of a church group so they would not make do the same bad things he did.[21][19][22] He also helped his mother out after she had a stroke.[23]

In 2014, Floyd moved to Minneapolis to find work.[24][25] There, he was a bouncer, truck driver, and security guard.[26][13][27]

In 2020, he lost his job as a security guard because the bar where he worked at shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, he got COVID-19 but got better.[19][28]

Floyd had 5 children and 2 grandchildren.[28] His youngest daughter, Gianna, lives in Houston with his former partner.[29] A GoFundMe campaign to help pay for Floyd's funeral costs and benefit his family made the site's record for the most individual donations.[30]

Death[change | change source]

On May 25, 2020, a white police officer named Derek Chauvin killed Floyd in Minneapolis. Chauvin kneeled on Floyd's neck, which meant that he could not breathe. Floyd could not move because he was handcuffed and lying face down.[31][32][33] Two other officers were on Floyd's back and legs and another officer stopped others from helping Floyd.[34]:6:24[35][36]

For the last three of those minutes, Floyd did not move and had no pulse[31][33] but officers did not try to revive him.[37]:6:46 Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd's neck as paramedics attempted to treat him.[37]:7:21

The second autopsy report done by the county said that Floyd's death was a homicide caused by cardiac arrest caused by him being restrained.[12][38][39] This autopsy was done after people complained about the first one, which did not say homicide was the cause of his death.

His family had an autopsy done by another doctor, which said that Floyd died of asphyxia. However, it was done without samples from his body.[40][41]

Some people nearby filmed the officers hurting Floyd and then put the videos on the Internet. Because of this, people started to protest. Protests began in Minneapolis the day after Floyd died. More protests would be held in all 50 US states and in 400 cities all around the world.[42][43]

Burial[change | change source]

External video
George Floyd Memorial Service in Minneapolis, June 4, 2020, C-SPAN
George Floyd Funeral Service in Houston, June 9, 2020, C-SPAN
The carriage carrying Floyd's casket to his burial in Pearland, Texas, June 9

On June 4, 2020, a memorial service for Floyd took place in Minneapolis with Al Sharpton delivering the eulogy.[10][44]

Services were planned in North Carolina with a public viewing and private service on June 6 and in Houston on June 8 and 9.[45]

Floyd is buried next to his mother in Pearland, Texas.[46][47][48]

Legacy[change | change source]

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.

A legacy is an impact that someone leaves behind when they die. George Floyd left behind a big legacy because he died due to police violence. In the United States, the police have a history of racism and not treating minority groups right. After Floyd died, there were big efforts to stop racism everywhere in the country, not just against Black people.

Protests[change | change source]

Many people were sad and angry about George Floyd's death. They think it is proof that racism is still a big problem in the United States. Some people came out to the streets to protests. Many protests were peaceful. Others were violent.

Schools[change | change source]

Some universities created scholarships in George Floyd's name.[49][50][51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58] The CEO of Netflix and his wife made a $120 million donation to several historically black colleges and universities..[59][60] These schools were created by and for African Americans as they were usually not allowed to attend colleges in the past.

Law[change | change source]

A bill proposed by US Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (a Democrat from Texas), the George Floyd Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act, was made to reduce police brutality and establish national policing standards.[61][62]

8'46"[change | change source]

The length of time that Chauvin was believed to have had his knee on Floyd's neck, eight minutes forty-six seconds, was used as a "moment of silence" to honor Floyd.[63][64][note 1]

Art[change | change source]

Many artists around the world created murals to honor George Floyd.[65][66][67] [68][69]

Media[change | change source]

George Floyd's death was the cover story for The Economist.[70] It wrote that his legacy was "the rich promise of social change."[71]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 The initial criminal complaint gave the time as 8:46. This time was used by protesters and the media. Prosecutors later corrected this to 7:46.[2]
  2. In 1997, at age 23, Floyd was arrested for giving less than one gram of cocaine to another person, and sentenced to six months in jail. In 1998, Floyd was arrested twice for theft, receiving sentences of 10 months and 10 days, respectively. 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 possessing less than a gram of cocaine, once for giving less than a gram of cocaine to someone else, and once for trespassing. He was sentenced to a total of about 30 months in jail for those four crimes.[4]

References[change | change source]

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