A video of George Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter Gianna has gone viral for good reason
On May 25, the world watched in horror as Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of George Floyd for nearly nine minutes — ultimately killing the 46-year-old and sparking a powder keg of conversation surrounding police brutality and racism. The whole world is talking, and one very special little girl understands the impact of the dialogue her father created.
In a short video clip from a recent demonstration in Minneapolis, Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter Gianna sits on the shoulders of retired NBA player and friend of Floyd’s, Stephen Jackson. Looking around, she says, “Daddy changed the world.”
The moment is heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure, not to mention humanizing. From the outside looking in, it’s easy to see the movement and overlook the man. But Gianna’s mother, Roxie Washington, is sharing her daughter with the world so that people will understand Floyd is more than a figurehead. He was a real person, and a loving father at that.
“I want everybody to know that this is what those officers took,” Washington said during a news conference. “I want justice for him because he was good. No matter what anyone thinks, he was good.”
She said of the four officers involved in Floyd’s murder, “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 a dad, she does not have that anymore.”
As for Gianna, she doesn’t know all of the details of her dad’s death. “She said, ‘I hear them. I hear them saying my daddy’s name.’ She doesn’t know what happened,” Washington explained during an interview with Good Morning America. “I told her her dad died because he couldn’t breathe.”
When asked what she wants other people to know about her dad, Gianna simply responded, “Kinda that I miss him.” Floyd, as his daughter tells it, was the kind of dad who would play with her “all day long” — a fact Washington emphasized, adding, “That was his baby. He loved his little girl.”
Although Washington and Gianna stayed in Houston when Floyd moved to Minnesota in 2014 to work as a truck driver, he remained an active part of his daughter’s life. However, the change that he has sparked will undoubtedly inform her future.
In the time since Floyd’s death, a full investigation into his murder has been launched. The four police officers involved in his killing have been fired. Chauvin, the officer who knelt on his neck, has already been charged and just today, charges were brought against the three other officers who witnessed the tragedy and did nothing to stop it. Protests have gone global.
And in a positive step towards breaking down police brutality against the black community and dismantling systemic racism, Minnesota’s Department of Human Rights has filed a civil rights charge related to Floyd’s death against the Minneapolis Police Department.
So, yeah, you’re right, baby girl… your daddy did change the world. He still is.