HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) – People who knew him best called him “Floyd”, he was a Texan who had moved to Minneapolis for a fresh start. Now George Floyd is dead, four police officers have been fired and protests are being held in cites across the country.
Floyd, an unarmed black man, died while being taken into police custody in Minneapolis on Monday. A roughly 10-minute long video taken at the scene shows Floyd face down on the ground, handcuffed and begging for air as a white police officer kneels on the his neck. At some point Floyd cries out for his mother, even though she passed away about a year ago.
After several minutes Floyd appears to lose consciousness. Even as EMTs arrive and check Floyd’s pulse the officer’s knee remained on his neck. Floyd was ultimately taken to the hospital where he died.
The officers involved had said Floyd “physically resisted officers” as they placed handcuffs on him. But security camera footage of the moments before the incident shows Floyd calmly walk with officers and sit down on the sidewalk.
Floyd was being arrested on suspicion of forgery.
Courteney Ross, Floyd’s fiancée, says Floyd loved everything that Minnesota had to offer.”He always felt like everybody got a chance here. You know, he would tell his friends, like, ‘come up to Minnesota, man, you can. You can do it here… you can get a job and you can start fresh.'”
The man in the video pleading for his life was a father, a friend and coworker who was loved and respected.
Ross doesn’t want people to remember Floyd for how he died, but for what he stood for during his 46 years of life. “You know, if he was here, he would say that he’s a man of God. He would stand on that firmly,” she said.
Back in Houston, about 100 people gathered at Emancipation Park on Tuesday for a prayer vigil for Floyd and to express their frustration over what happened.
Floyd, who grew up in Houston’s Third Ward, moved to Minneapolis about four or five years ago. His 6-year-old daughter, Gianna, still lives in Houston.
Former NBA player Stephen Jackson, who is originally from Port Arthur and had a stint with the San Antonio Spurs, spoke about Floyd’s death on social media.
Calling Floyd his “twin” Jackson said, “Nobodies perfect but Floyd was loved by everybody when he’s friends wasn’t. Just the facts u gotta be from HTown to know what I’m saying. Rest Easy Twin we riding for ya.”
The death of #GeorgeFloyd should be condemned by all in law enforcement and our extended community. His death serves as a stark reminder that when bad policing happens, it disproportionately impacts communities of color and poor communities. This is what players are protesting. pic.twitter.com/gRbX6CTHRJ
— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) May 27, 2020
On Twitter Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Floyd’s death, “should be condemned by all in law enforcement and our extended community. His death serves as a stark reminder that when bad policing happens, it disproportionately impacts communities of color and poor communities.”
In addition to protests in Houston and Minneapolis, a large group of demonstrators also rallied in Chicago.
The FBI has been called in and along with Minnesota law enforcement will investigate Floyd’s death.