By: Neveah Richardson
On May 25, 2020, the world watched as George Floyd was killed by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes.
Floyd’s death sparked world-wide protest against police brutality and white supremacy. Houston is paying tribute to Floyd, the longtime resident, with a new park memorial on the corner of Alabama and Napoleon in Greater Third Ward.
The owner of the land, Gertrude Stone, dedicated the park to Floyd. The memorial is right across from the “Black Lives Matter” mural at Jack Yates Senior High School, where Floyd attended.
“This park is for the community,” said organizer Jack Stone. “This park and the efforts behind it aim to ensure that nothing like what has brought us here today; what happened on May 25th of last year ever happens again.”
Houston leaders and the Stone family held a dedication ceremony to reflect the life and legacy of Floyd, and to also celebrate the historical “guilty” murder charge for Chauvin.
“George Floyd’s death came with a lot of turmoil, but at the end of the day, his death has brought some degree of calm and tranquility because the justice system ultimately worked,” said Adrian Garcia, Harris County Commissioner Pct 2. “In one of the most important cases in our nation’s history, the justice system did exactly what we expected it to do.”
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg also weighed in, saying, “George Floyd now is the human symbol for racial equality in America. And how our justice system treats people like Mr. Floyd is important.”
LaTonya Floyd, George Floyd’s sister, was present at the ceremony on Sunday, and the family went to the White House to meet with President Joe Biden on the anniversary of Floyd’s death.
“I always say one of the greatest days of my life was when the bill was passed in Washington — the no chokehold bill was passed,” said LaTonya Floyd. “And here we go again, this is great. This is going to be a park and violence is everywhere. Violence is everywhere and it must stop. And we won’t stop fighting until it does.”
“Take your knee off my neck!” The fight for justice continues.