George Perry Floyd Jr.‘s death reignited the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020. Less than two hours before his death, he was arrested by four Minneapolis Police Department officers who used excessive force.
The leader of the group of cops was Derek Michael Chauvin, 44, a white male and a veteran of the department for 19 years. Also in the group was Tou Thao, 34, an Asian male and a veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department for 12 years.
On May 25, 2020, an employee at Cup Foods at 3759 Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States called the Minneapolis Police Department. The employee reported a customer who was trying to pay with a counterfeit $20 bill.
Unarmed, Floyd was arrested by Kueng, Chauvin, Thao and Lane. Several bystanders witnessed how Floyd was held by Kueng and Lane while Chauvin was kneeling on the arrestee’s neck and Thao was interacting with the eyewitnesses.
While Chauvin was kneeling on his neck, Floyd begged for water and cried for his late mother while his nose was bleeding. The arrestee repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe,” the same words uttered by Eric Garner, an unarmed African-American Man who died in 2014 after being placed in a choke hold by white cop Daniel Pantaleo.
Paramedics arrived moments after Floyd started to lose consciousness and they took him to the hospital. He was pronounced dead in the emergency room of the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
The life Floyd lived was a colorful one. Here are 46 facts about the late African-American man:
- He was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA on October 14, 1973 to George Perry Floyd Sr. and Larcenia “Miss Cissy” Jones Floyd.
- When he was a baby, he and his family moved to Houston, Texas, USA.
- He was raised in the Cuney Homes, a public housing complex in the Third Ward area of Houston.
- He was 6’4″ and weighed 223 lbs at the time of his death.
- In 1993, he graduated from Jack Yates High School in Houston, where he was a football and basketball star.
- From 1993 to 1995, he attended South Florida State College in Avon Park, Florida, USA where he played for the basketball team called the Panthers.
- While studying at South Florida State College, he attended services at the Avon Park Church of Christ.
- He left South Florida State College and enrolled at Texas A&M-Kingsville, where he also played basketball, but he dropped out before the end of his sophomore year.
- He was friends with former NBA player Stephen Jackson and Houston rapper Cal Wayne.
- As a hip-hop artist, he went by the name Big Floyd.
- In the 1990s, he rapped on multiple mixtapes.
- He has five children.
- His son Quincy Mason Floyd was born in 1993.
- His daughter Connie Mason Floyd was born in 1994.
- In August 1998, he was arrested and charged with theft.
- In 2000, he released the album “Block Party” as a member of the hip-hop group Presidential Playas.
- In April 2002, he was arrested for criminal trespassing and served 30 days in jail.
- His father, who was born in Plain View, Sampson County, North Carolina on March 3, 1949, died in Fayetteville, Cumberland County, North Carolina on October 8, 2002.
- In October 2002, he was arrested for possession of cocaine and was sentenced to eight months in jail.
- In December 2005, he was arrested for possession of cocaine and was sentenced to 10 months in state jail.
- On August 9, 2007, he was charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon in a home invasion in Houston and pleaded guilty to first-degree felony.
- On April 8, 2009, he was sentenced to five years in prison as part of a plea deal related to his armed robbery charge in 2007.
- While living in Houston, he starred in a video with adult film actress Kimberly Brinks.
- After spending four years at the Diboll Unit, a private state prison for men located in Diboll, Angelina County, Texas, he was paroled in 2013.
- The mother of his youngest child Gianna Floyd, who was born in 2014, is his former girlfriend Roxie Washington.
- While he was with Washington, he helped Resurrection Houston, a church that ministered people around the Cuney Homes.
- From Houston, he moved to Minnesota in 2014 and lived in St. Louis Park, where he had a roommate of named Alvin Manago.
- He simultaneously worked as a truck driver and as a security guard at Conga Latin Bistro in Minneapolis before it closed due to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
- In his spare time, he would coach young football and basketball players.
- He worked with the Screwed Up Click, a collective led by the late local icon DJ Screw.
- He participated in the community outreach of Christian hip-hop artists.
- He has brothers named Philonise Floyd, Rodney Floyd and Terrence Floyd.
- He has a sister named Bridgett Floyd.
- He has a cousin named Tera Brown.
- He has uncles named Roger Floyd and Selwyn Jones.
- Cece Boyd, Christopher Harris, Ortierre Lawson, Terai Lawson and DJD Lawson were among his friends.
- He had a girlfriend named Shawanda Hill.
- He was engaged to Courteney Ross, who he met when she was visiting a loved one at the Salvation Army in Minneapolis were he was working as a security guard.
- His mother, who was born in New Hope, Wayne County, North Carolina, died on May 30, 2018 in Houston.
- On April 3, 2020, he tested positive for COVID-19.
- The name Laura was tattooed on his right upper abdomen.
- A monochromatic blue tattoo of the name Cissy was on his left upper abdomen.
- A blue tattoo of his surname spanned both sides of his abdomen just superior to the umbilicus.
- A blue tattoo of a gravestone with some letters and numbers and the letters R.I.P. was on his anterior right forearm, a blue tattoo of two stars with the name Brittney and the letters R.I.P. was on his proximal anterior left forearm and a blue tattoo spanned the anterior, lateral and posterior aspects of his left forearm.
- He was with his longtime friend Maurice Lester Hall, also a Houston native, in his car during his fatal arrest.
- He was 46 when he died.