What Houston meant to George Floyd

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Monday, June 8, 2020
Police Chief Acevedo wants to give police escort for George Floyd's funeral
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In a powerful speech given by both Mayor Turner and HPD Chief Art Acevedo, the two said they will stand with George Floyd's family.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After nationwide protests in his name, some of them escalating into violence, George Floyd will be laid to rest in his hometown of Houston.

The 46-year-old's life ended under horrifically visible circumstances that prompted many Americans to voice their opposition to social injustice directed at the African American community.

Beyond this, though, Floyd was a "gentle giant" to his friends and family, who, according to his school teacher, wanted to impact the country as a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

While he was born in Raeford, North Carolina, and was in the midst of a transition in Minneapolis where he passed away, Floyd was ultimately a Houstonian.

Mayor Sylvester Turner revealed early in the planning of the memorial that Floyd should be buried in the city he grew up in.

"This is our house. This is the same city that George Floyd grew up," Turner said. "And his body will be returning to this city. To his city."

Floyd grew up in Houston's Third Ward and graduated from Yates High School. He was a star tight end for the Yates football team, playing in the 1992 state championship game in the Houston Astrodome.

Floyd moved to Minneapolis from Houston about four or five years ago looking for better job opportunities and that he was reportedly doing well. His boss said his daughter still lives in Houston, and so do a lot of his friends.

HISD remarked on the impact of his passing:

The Houston Independent School District community is deeply saddened by the tragic and unconscionable loss of former HISD student George Floyd, who attended Jack Yates High School. We send our deepest condolences to Mr. Floyd's family and friends. As the Interim Superintendent of Houston ISD, I am committed to advancing - and achieving - educational equity in our communities of color. I firmly believe that a shift in the dialogue on race in our country begins in our classrooms, and this work will remain a top priority in Houston ISD. I am hopeful that the conversations taking place today will result in meaningful changes for our future generations.

Houston police also expressed a commitment early on to Floyd and the events to remember him.

HPD Chief Art Acevedo said he wanted the department to escort his casket. Acevedo was also highly visible over the course of protests in the city, most significantly during the march of 60,000 people in downtown Houston.

Today and tomorrow, ABC13 is bringing George Floyd's large scale remembrance to Houston and all over the region. His public memorial at The Fountain of Praise church today can be viewed in this post. His funeral, which is private, is set for noon tomorrow.

Floyd is being laid to rest next to his mother at the Houston Memorial Gardens in Pearland.


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