6 months later: Did George Floyd's death spark or start a movement?

Tom Abrahams Image
Thursday, November 26, 2020
A barber shop discussion on George Floyd's death 6 months later
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It's been six months since George Floyd was killed at the hands of police, and people believe there's plenty of work that needs to be done.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- At a mural in Houston's historic Third Ward neighborhood Wednesday morning, Eyewitness News found co-workers Darris Mays and Matthew Slayden.

They stood together, quiet and reflective.

"It's the six-month anniversary," said Mays. "We had a little time on our hands, so we thought we'd come by and pay our respects."

For them, George Floyd represents the start of a movement.

"We need equality around the world," Slayden said. "We don't have that, you know, unfortunately. Our brothers and sisters of color, they get treated differently."

For Tiffany Cofield, it's personal. She was a close friend of George and the Floyd family. She still struggles with the loss.

"It's hard to believe it was only six months ago," she told ABC13. "It's really hard to believe that he's not here, that he was stolen from us."

READ ALSO: Bike riders pedal for George Floyd's birthday through Third Ward

Pastor Christopher Johnson knew Floyd for 20 years. He believes his friend's death changed the world.

"His death was definitely a tragedy, but there is so much that has come out of in terms of just changing the world and changing history," Johnson said. "George Floyd is a game changer."

Houston Area Urban League President Judson Robinson is hopeful that the game is changing. He said he sees some positive signs.

"I think we're still finding out," Robinson said. "Right now, we've heard some movement toward wanting to hear each other. There's been some activity in terms of police reform."

He is especially interested to see what social justice legislation passes at the local, state, and federal levels.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said part of Floyd's lasting legacy could be the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act if Congress passes it and the president signs it into law. It's a bill she helped craft.

"I truly believe it is not a moment," said Representative Jackson Lee. "It is a movement. It is a movement that is still deeply embedded in people's hearts."

READ ALSO: What Houston lawmakers are doing about calls for social justice change

It's only six months, but Floyd's memory, like his mural, has not faded. What will the movement look like six months from now?

Inside Goode Looks Barber Shop in Third Ward, a fresh cut always comes with conversation.

We spent some time in the shop and discussed Floyd. Third Ward was Floyd's neighborhood. We wanted to know if his death was just a moment or did it spark a movement? Some believe it unified the community and set in motion a move toward social justice.

"I think everybody kind of came together more as a whole," said owner Lewis Goode. "I think the mayor and the police chief in Houston have done a great job."

Others in the shop agreed.

"I think it raised awareness in the neighborhoods," said barber Christopher Williams. "If we stick together, we're more supportive of each other."

Some are cautiously optimistic about the near future.

"I think the new administration is probably going to make some improvements from the old administration with regard to law enforcement," said customer James Stanley.

Still, others worry that this is another blip. They worry what happened six months ago won't resonate six years from now.

"The jury is still kind of out on that for me," said Craig Royal. "It's kind of early to tell. At the moment for me, I think it was just for the moment like all things are for the moment."


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