The death of George Floyd in May 2020 sparked months of protests against police brutality and racial injustice. With the trial of the former police officer accused of killing him now underway, Floyd's young daughter and her mother are speaking out about the man they knew and miss.
Gianna Floyd was just 6 when her father was killed, and the way she's remembering her daddy is so heartbreakingly innocent. "He was kind and he was nice to my mama all the time," the little girl said in an interview with ABC News. Gianna appeared alongside her mother Roxie Washington, who said navigating life without Floyd has not been easy. She said the two were friends as well as co-parents.
"Life has changed. It's changed in a lot of ways, you know. The reality sets in every day that I have to be mommy and daddy," Washington said. "Just figuring out and making the right decisions for my life and my child's life, and just knowing that her father is gone."
All day I’ve been thinking of George Floyd’s daughter, Gianna. I’m praying for her strength—strength she may be too… https://t.co/okZe1a3tjO— Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton (@LtGovStratton) 1617070626.0
George Floyd's death was captured in a harrowing 8 minute and 46-second video of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck during an arrest. Protests broke out in cities across the country in the following weeks and months as demonstrators called for justice in Floyd's death—and in too many other cases just like it.
As Chauvin's trial continues, Floyd's family is front and center. During a prayer service the night before the trial began, Philonise Floyd recalled how his brother's dying thoughts were for his children, and his own mother. "He said 'I can't breathe.' He said 'mama.' He said 'tell my kids I love them,'" Philonise recalled. "Nobody should have to go through that, nobody should have to endure that."
Derek Chauvin's trial is expected to last anywhere from two weeks to a month, and the family is holding on to hope it will end with a guilty verdict. "I have faith that he will get convicted," Philonise Floyd said. "Just like everybody who's seen that video because the video is the proof."
In another interview with ABC News Prime, Floyd's sister Bridgett remembered him as a bright light in the world. "My brother was a generous man, a gentle giant, a father, an uncle. He was filled with a lot of love that you don't see most people have these days." She's vowing to keep his name and his memory alive—because even as the Floyd family prays for a guilty verdict, they know nothing will bring him back.