When George Floyd died while being restrained by police officer Derek Chauvin despite his desperate pleas, George also left behind his six-year-old daughter, Gianna, and her mother Roxie Washington. For the first time in the week since this tragedy happened, the mourning mother and daughter emerged in front of reporters on June 2. “He was a good man as a father. He was so happy to have her,” Roxie said through tears at the crowd gathered for the news conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Tuesday. She had her daughter pressed closely to her side.
Roxie Washington, mother of George Floyd's six-year-old daughter Gianna, breaks down as she speaks to the media pic.twitter.com/Z5znKTBBL6
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 2, 2020
Roxie had a romantic relationship with George in the past, and gushed about her birthing experience with him. “He was there. He slept the whole time that I went through labor but when he heard her cry, he got up. He woke up and I still have a picture of him waking up getting his baby,” Roxie continued. She added, “He loved her. He loved her so much…” Despite George’s split from Roxie, she assured reporters, “He still took care of us. We lived here but we still had that connection and he still took care of us. He provided for us.”
"I'm here for George because I want justice for him. I want justice for him because he was good," says Roxie Washington, the mother of George Floyd’s daughter. https://t.co/1OPKxPkqSw pic.twitter.com/vGkL4hg08J
— ABC News (@ABC) June 2, 2020
Roxie also directly addressed the police officer who pinned his knee against George’s neck, despite George repeatedly pleading “I can’t breathe,” and the three others who stood by and let this happen (all four officers have been terminated from Minneapolis PD). “I want every body to know that this is what those officers took from [her] and at the end of the day, they get to go home and be with their families. 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 and she needs her dad, she does not have that anymore,” she said, breaking down in tears.
George’s friend, former NBA star Stephen Jackson, also took the podium to gush about how great of a father George was. “His whole reason for coming [to Minneapolis] was to get here, get away from Texas, so he could provide for his family – be a better father, be a better provider,” Stephen told reporters. “His whole reason for being in Minnesota was to work and drive trucks. That’s why he came her and he was doing that. He was doing great here. He was turning the curve and then this happened.”
It was later revealed that George died from “asphyxiation from sustained pressure,” according to the statement that attorney Ben Crump forwarded to CNN. An independent autopsy also revealed that George was essentially “dead on the scene” where the police had tried to arrest the unarmed black man, according to the attorney. Derek, the police officer who had pinned George to the ground, has also been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The tragedy has sparked countless protests not only in the United States, but across multiple countries as well.