‘A gentle giant’: George Floyd’s uncle recalls his life, calls for peace and justice

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — George Floyd’s uncle is asking protesters to remain peaceful as they call for change.

Protests began across the country after George Floyd died – pinned to the ground with a Minneapolis police officer’s knee on his neck. That officer has been charged with murder. Three other officers have been fired.

The world watched George Floyd’s agonizing final moments, which were captured on video, but his uncle remembers his first.

“I was there when he was born,” recalled Roger Floyd, who lives in Raleigh.

He described his nephew as a humble guy who never met a stranger. “He was truly a gentle giant and it’s just so heartbreaking that he was taken,” he said.

Floyd learned of his nephew’s death from his brother. “He said he was murdered. That’s the way he said it to me, ‘He was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota,’ and my heart just dropped. I was without words,” remembered Roger Floyd.

Protesters quickly found their voices, demanding justice and an end to racism. “I am so grateful,” said Floyd. “They’re saying to me with these demonstrations, ‘We feel you and we are behind you.’ We are hopeful that there will be a change.

He adds that violence and looting don’t help the cause. “My prayer is for peace. I hope that we will continue to protest but curtail those protests to peaceful protests,” he said.

As for the officers involved in George Floyd’s death, he said he prays for them, but he also has a message: “What you did was wrong on all levels. That was a total disregard for life.” He wants legislation to ensure this can never happen again, and he says he’s hopeful there will be a change for the better.

Despite his family’s devastating loss Roger Floyd holds no hatred for law enforcement.

“Many of them are great officers,” he said. “They put their lives on the line every single day for the good of the people.”

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