His name has been chanted by demonstrators around the globe, his face displayed on murals across America. Since his brutal death George Floyd has embodied the Black victims of police violence and racism in the United States.
On Tuesday, accountability of sorts was delivered: Floyd’s killer, the white former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, was convicted of murder in a case that triggered a moral reckoning on race and white supremacy far beyond America’s borders.
Floyd “was a big man, he was too big for this earth,” his former girlfriend of three years, Courteney Ross, told reporters shortly before the verdict was read. “He is all over us right now.”
Asked how he likely would have felt about the verdict, Ross said Floyd would argue that “now is a time for us to come together.”
The 46-year-old Floyd died under Chauvin’s knee on May 25, 2020 in the US city of Minneapolis.
The crime was recorded on a mobile phone, and Floyd’s final agonizing minutes were seen around the world — and replayed multiple times to the trial jury.