And while so many now know the Houston native by his full name, those who knew him best called him Floyd.
He worked safely in a restaurant where he developed someone’s reputation it turned its back on you and was there for you when you were down.
“To know my brother is to love my brother,” Philonise Floyd, George’s brother, told CNN’s Don Lemon.
Floyd, 46, died on Monday in the city where he moved for a better life, his last moments captured on video. During the arrest, Floyd was restrained by a knee from the Minneapolis police officer. The video shows Floyd pleading that he is suffering and is unable to breathe. So he closed his eyes and the motives ceased. He was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
He was a captivating boy with a big heart
After high school, head basketball coach George Walker recruited Floyd to play for him at South Florida State College in Avon Park, Florida. Floyd was a student there from 1993 to 1995, Walker told CNN.
“It didn’t give me too many problems as a basketball coach,” Walker said. “He was a pretty good athlete, averaging 12-14 points per game.”
Floyd was a captivating boy with a big heart, according to Walker’s wife, Gloria.
Of all the college athletes on the school team, he said that Floyd attracted his attention the most “because he was just a fun person to be with.”
“He has never been one who tried to blame others for his mistakes,” he said. “He has always owned them and has always tried to do better.”
He was trying to be a better father
he he moved to Minnesota for work and to drive trucks, according to his friend and former NBA player, Stephen Jackson.
Jackson, also a Houston native, calls his twin Floyd.
“I have heard George for the past two days more than I have felt all my life and we have had a relationship for over 21 years,” Jackson told CNN’s Poppy Harlow on Thursday. “His name was always Floyd, my twin.”
Floyd was known in the community as a protector and supplier who didn’t have a hateful bone in his body, according to Jackson. He got on well with everyone and rarely wanted anything in exchange for helping someone, said Jackson.
“The difference between me and my brother is that I had more opportunities than he did,” wrote Jackson, who won a championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003. “2 things we have in common both from below and from both our names will live forever”.
Once Floyd moved to Minnesota, Jackson said that Floyd spoke at length about his journey to create better opportunities for himself.
“The last time I spoke to him was about a year ago and every conversation we had that year was about improving ourselves and being better fathers,” said Jackson. “That’s all he talked about.”
Floyd is the father of two daughters, the youngest being 6 years old, according to Jackson.
“I want justice for your children,” he said. “I want your children to take care of them. Their father is not here.”
Jackson promises to support his friend’s children and “compile for Floyd” and said he wants to make sure they are expected.
In Houston, Rose Hudson, who dated Floyd over 20 years ago, told CNN affiliate KTRK that she and Floyd had a daughter who is now the mother of a child.
“My daughter had to watch her father get killed on live TV,” said Hudson.
Floyd hadn’t met his 3-year-old granddaughter, according to Hudson.
“I’ll just let you know what a good boy he was,” he said, “He was a good father to his girls. I only have memories, that’s all I can give her, memories of your grandfather.”
Floyd worked at security at the Conga Latin Bistro in Minneapolis for five years, according to its owner, Jovanni Thunstrom.
Even though he was an employee of Thunstrom, the couple was also friends.
“He was loved by all my employees and customers,” Thunstrom told CNN.
Floyd would help clean up after the bar closed and he was a “very nice guy and very good with customers,” according to Thunstrom.
“He defended people, he was there for the people when they were on the ground, he loved the people who were thrown away,” Courteney Ross, the other half of Floyd, told WCCO. “We prayed for every meal, we prayed if we were going through difficult times, we prayed if we were having fun.”
Even people who didn’t know Floyd are outraged
The anger over Floyd’s death goes beyond his family and friends. Numerous celebrities have reacted to the incident on social media.
At the time, Kaepernick had claimed that he would not honor a song or “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses blacks and black people”.
James’ post is accompanied by the caption “Do you understand NOW !! ?? !! ?? Or is it still out of focus ?? #StayWoke”
His family thinks the police haven’t done enough to help him
Some protests have been peaceful, while others have been destructive.
Although the four Minneapolis officers involved in Floyd’s death were fired, members of his family said it wasn’t enough. They want to see all the officers accused of murder.
“They should have been there to serve and protect and I didn’t see any of them lift a finger to do anything to help as he asked for his life. None of them tried to do anything to help him,” said Tera Brown, Floyd’s cousin. , at CNN’s Lemon.
CNN’s Omar Jimenez, Christina Maxouris, Josh Campbell, Melissa Alonso, Ray Sanchez, Joe Sutton and Artemis Moshtaghian, contributed to this report