“He was good. No matter what anybody thinks, he was good.”
On Monday 25 May, George Floyd was killed when police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the handcuffed man’s neck for at least eight minutes.
Chauvin, who has had 17 complaints filed against him during his career (of which two resulted in formal reprimands), has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Floyd has become the face of anti-racism protests across the globe. His final, terrified moments are now a viral video, one which has been shared countless times over. And his name is now a hashtag synonymous with the Black Lives Matter movement.
We all want justice for Floyd. We all know that his death represents something far bigger. And we need to remember, too, that he was a real person. That’s something his six-year-old daughter, Gianna, and her mother Roxie Washington have addressed during a recent news conference.
“I don’t have a lot to say, because I can’t get my words together right now,” said Washington, holding back tears. “But I want everyone to know that this is what those officers took. At the end of the day, they get to go home and be with their families.
“Gianna does not have a father.”
After a steadying breath, Washington continued: “[Floyd] will never see Gianna grow up, graduate. He will never walk her down the aisle.
“If there’s a problem she’s having and she needs her dad, she does not have that anymore.”
Powerfully, she added: “I’m here for my baby, and I’m here for George, because I want justice for him. I want justice for him because he was good. No matter what anybody thinks, he was good.
“And this,” she said, gesturing at Gianna, “is the proof that he was a good man.”
To paraphrase what we’ve said before, it’s worth remembering that non-black people need to educate themselves, listen more, and learn how to be a better ally in the fight against racism.
Here are just a few of the ways we can all do this:
How to support Justice for George Floyd:
- Donate to the official George Floyd memorial fund, a GoFundMe page set up by Floyd’s brother.
- Sign the petition urging Minnesota Mayor Jacob Frey and District Attorney Mike Freeman to charge the officers who killed George Floyd.Further charities and organisations to engage with:
- Support the Black Visions Collective, an organisation working specifically on racial justice within the state of Minnesota.
Further charities and organisations to engage with: