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Mother of George Floyd's daughter speaks to thousands in Minneapolis

Shannon Prather and Kim Hyatt, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in News & Features

MINNEAPOLIS -- The mother of George Floyd's 6-year-old daughter tearfully spoke out at Minneapolis City Hall on Tuesday, saying he was a loving and devoted father who continued to provide for their family before his death at the hands of police.

Flanked by lawyers and retired NBA player Stephen Jackson, who was Floyd's childhood friend, Roxie Washington struggled through emotion to share that Floyd's life was made up more than his final moments beneath a Minneapolis police officer's knee in a bystander video that sparked international outrage and widespread protests. Next to her stood their daughter, Gianna, who looked on silently.

"I want justice for him because he was good," Washington said. "He loved (Gianna) so much."

Washington said the officers still get to go home to their family but Floyd won't be able to see Gianna graduate or walk her down the aisle. Jackson said he would be there to walk her down the aisle instead.

The family flew in earlier Tuesday from Houston joined by Stewart Trial Attorneys based in Atlanta.

"We just want to show the world that George Floyd is not just a name, not just a meme and not just something to be chanted," attorney Justin Miller said. "George Floyd was a real person. He was a good person. And these are the people that loved him."

 

Their appearance came on the day thousands of peaceful protesters filled the front lawn of the Capitol in St. Paul on Tuesday, mourning the death of Floyd at the hands of police and demanding change.

The crowd, mostly wearing masks, sat shoulder to shoulder listening to impassioned speakers, waving homemade signs and chanting. Between speeches, organizers played music and held moments of silence. While the crowd was racially and ethnically diverse, it was dominated by people under teens and young adults. The crowd covered the lawn from the steps of the Capitol all the way past Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Volunteers who were handing out water, snacks and sunscreen said the rally was organized by high school and college students from the Twin Cities.

"I am angry and I am heartbroken," said volunteer Priya Manda, 18 of Stillwater. "There is such injustice. Something needs to be done."

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