George Floyd: "Gentle Giant" Who Became Symbol Of Fight Against Racism
His name is chanted by demonstrators around the globe. His face is displayed on murals all over the United States. Since his brutal death George Floyd has embodied, more than any other, the Black victims of police violence and racism in the United States.
"Daddy changed the world." The words of Floyd's six-year-old daughter Gianna summed up the paradox of his killing, in which the end of his life began a moral reckoning on race and white supremacy far beyond the borders of the United States.
The 46-year-old died of asphyxiation beneath the knee of a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, on May 25, 2020 in the US city of Minneapolis.
Chauvin's trial opens Monday.
The horrifying killing, which kicked off the biggest civil rights protests in the US since the 1960s, snuffed out a life marked by hardship but also generosity.
Standing at six foot four inches (1.93 meters), Floyd was known to friends and family as a "gentle giant," a rapper and athlete who suffered runs-in with the law and addiction but who wanted the best for his children.