Through tears, the mother of George Floyd’s six-year-old daughter, Gianna, made an emotional plea for the world to remember Floyd as a good father and good man, not just a name or a rallying cry.
“I wanted everybody to know that this is what those officers took from me,” Roxie Washington said, Gianna standing by her side.
“At the end of the day, they get to go home and be with their families,” she added. “Gianna does not have a father. He will never see her grow up, graduate. He will never walk her down the aisle. If there’s a problem she’s having and she needs a dad, she does not have that any more.”
Washington’s heartbreaking comments came more than one week after Floyd, an unarmed Black man, died after a white officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis, Minnesota, setting off mass protests across the United States.
A video of the incident shows Floyd repeatedly pleading “I can’t breathe” before going motionless, still under the officer’s knee.
“The image that most of us have of George Floyd is the horrible video that we’ve seen,” said Floyd family lawyer, Chris Stewart, alongside Washington and Gianna.
All four officers involved in the incident were fired a day after Floyd died.
The officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
But Floyd’s family, community leaders and protesters want the three other officers involved charged, as well.
“I’m here for George because I want justice for him,” Washington said.
‘A father was taken’
Earlier on Tuesday, at the intersection where Floyd died, Bishop Harding Smith, remembered Floyd as a giver.
“He’s someone that I knew very well, and the love and support you see out here,” Smith told Al Jazeera.
“You see, Floyd used to help me outside the Salvation Army feed the homeless,” Smith said.