MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — People all over the world are remembering George Floyd Wednesday, on what would have been his 47th birthday, including presidential hopeful Joe Biden’s running mate Sen. Kamala Harris.
“Today would have been George Floyd’s 47th birthday. He should still be alive today celebrating another year with his family and friends,” Harris tweeted. “We need justice and to ensure that this never happens again, starting with banning chokeholds and creating a national standard for use of force.”
Today would have been George Floyd’s 47th birthday. He should still be alive today celebrating another year with his family and friends. We need justice and to ensure that this never happens again—starting with banning chokeholds and creating a national standard for use of force.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) October 14, 2020
Floyd died last May in Minneapolis. Former police officer Derek Chauvin pinned Floyd to the ground with his knee for almost eight minutes.
Floyd’s son Quincy talked to British broadcaster Sky News about the effect this video has had on him.
“I can’t stop watching the video. I watched it almost over and over, not every day, but every now and then. The knee on his neck so he couldn’t breathe, calling out for his momma, it’s devastating, and I have chills just thinking about what he was saying,” Quincy said.
In the nation’s largest city, they also gathered in his name. George Floyd’s brother, Terrence, spoke at the foot of a New York City mural.
“Unfortunately, I’m not able to call him and tell him happy birthday, or give him a hug, or just him cracking jokes,” Terrence said. “But I know he’s good.”
He says it’s clear, from responses near and far, that although his brother’s life is over, his work is not done.
“When I look at this mural right here, I see in my brother’s eyes, he’s telling me, ‘Little bro, do what you gotta do, man. Speak for me. Speak for me. Walk for me. Love for me.’” Floyd said. “And that’s exactly what I’m gonna do.”
The intersection of East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in south Minneapolis has become historic. Just like Floyd’s name, it is an area known around the world. Toussaint Morrison showed up to the site Wednesday with a bouquet of “Happy Birthday” balloons.
“Celebrating his birthday is just a way of recognizing him as a human, since he was not recognized as a human by police,” Morrison said. “It’s important to recognize George and what would have been his life had he still been here and not stolen from us, you know, by the police department. So still recognizing him as a human, you know, is really important.”
Howard Hobbs also came to honor a man he never met. He brought his granddaughters, too, saying this is a story for all ages.
“[My 4-year-old granddaughter] says ‘George Floyd,’ and she knew that George Floyd was killed by police, she told me that,” Hobbs said.
His sister Bridgett Floyd is participating in ad airing Wednesday in support of Joe Biden. Marking the birthday, the George Floyd Memorial Foundation says they are working with National Urban League in an effort to encourage the public to vote in the upcoming Nov. 3 election.
There will also be a gathering Wednesday night in honor of Floyd’s memory.
There is also a hearing scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Thursday in case of the officers charged in the death. The trial won’t actually start until March.