George Floyd was a black American who died after he was pinned for minutes under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.
Like many other Americans in the COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployed man wanted to find a new job.
According to his friend Christopher Harris, George moved to Minneapolis to start a new life and work.
He lost his job as a bouncer at a restaurant following the stay-at-home other issued by the Governor of Minnesota.
George who died at the age of 46 grew up in Houston’s Third Ward. The city had blacks as the majority and that was where he met Harris in middle school.
He stood as tall as 6 feet 6 inches and became popular in Jack Yates High School.
In 1992, he played in the state championship game in the Houston Astrodome. Yates lost to Temple, 38-20.
One of his classmates, Donnell Cooper, mentioned that he could remember watching George score touchdowns.
He was taller than everyone which made people call him “gentle giant.”
“Quiet personality but a beautiful spirit,” Cooper said. His death “definitely caught me by surprise. It’s just so sad, the world we’re living in now.”
The deceased had a daughter who stays with her mother by the name, Roxie Washington.
An employee at a grocery store in Minneapolis called the police on George after he allegedly tried to pass a counterfeit $20 bill.
In a viral video, George can be seen lying on the ground with his hands cuffed behind. An officer identified as Derek Chauvin used his kneed to press his neck to the pavement.
The officer who is white according to the video held Floyd to the ground even as he complained that he could not breathe.
This continued for minutes and ended with paramedics lifting George onto a stretcher and placed him into an ambulance.
Following the event, Four officers received sack letters on Tuesday and the next day, Mayor Jacob Frey called for the officer to be charged.
Though the mayor did not mention anything about the other officers who were at the scene.
Police say that the deceased was resisting arrest, but Chauvin’s lawyer has declined to comment.
In 2007, George was charged with armed robbery in the home invasion in Houston. According to court documents, Two years later he was sent to jail with a five years sentence as part of a plea deal.
Based on a statement by George’s childhood friend, he and some of his mutual friends around 2014 moved to Minneapolis in search of jobs.
Jovanni Tunstrom also mentioned that George had a good character. He further said that he tried teaching him to dance and that George called him Bossman.
“Always cheerful…He had a good attitude. He would dance badly to make people laugh.
“I tried to teach him how to dance because he loved Latin music, but I couldn’t because he was too tall for me.
“He always called me ‘Bossman.’ I said, ‘Floyd, don’t call me Bossman. I’m your friend,” said Jovanni.
Harris also said that he convinced George to move also when he left prison.
“He was looking to start over fresh, a new beginning…He was happy with the change he was making,” Harris said.
He got a security job at a Salvation Army store in downtown Minneapolis.
George later got two jobs including as a truck driver and a bouncer at Conga Latin Bistro, where he was addressed as “Big Floyd.”
Harris also said that George was laid off following Minnesota shut down order.
He further said that he spoke with George on Sunday night and updates him with information on contacting temporary jobs agency.
“He was doing whatever it takes to maintain going forward with his life,” Harris said, adding he couldn’t believe that Floyd would resort to forgery. “I’ve never known him to do anything like that.”
Todd Richmond, “Who was George Floyd? Unemployed due to coronavirus, he’d moved to Minneapolis for a fresh start“. Chicago Tribune on 28-05-2020 retrieved on 06-03-2020.