George Perry Floyd Jr. (October 14, 1973 – May 25, 2020) was an African American man murdered by police during an arrest after a store clerk suspected he may have used a counterfeit $20 bill in Minneapolis. Derek Chauvin, one of four police officers who arrived on the scene, knelt on Floyd’s neck and back for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. After his death, protests against police brutality, especially towards black people, quickly spread across the United States and globally. As he was dying, he said “I can’t breathe” which was used as a rallying cry during subsequent protests.
Born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Floyd grew up in Houston, playing football and basketball throughout high school and college. He was a hip hop artist and served as a mentor in his religious community. Between 1997 and 2005, he was convicted of eight crimes. He served four years in prison after accepting a plea bargain for a 2007 aggravated robbery in a home invasion. In 2014, he moved to the Minneapolis area, residing in the nearby suburb of St. Louis Park, and worked as a truck driver and bouncer. In 2020, he lost his job as a truck driver, and then his security job during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City of Minneapolis settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Floyd’s family for $27 million. Chauvin was convicted on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter on April 20, 2021. The trial of the other three officers at the scene of his death is scheduled to begin August 23, 2021. (Source)