Floyd was a father who moved to Minnesota for a better life and work, according to his family.
He has two daughters, the youngest of whom is six.
Floyd worked security at a restaurant but, like millions of Americans, had been out of work since the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the state’s service industry. The restaurant’s owner told local media that he was a close friend to many of his coworkers.
“A friend that was always available to work, always helps, always helped with cleaning up, we loved him a lot,” said the owner of Conga Latin Bistro. “He had good customer service.”
His family described him as a “gentle giant” who was dedicated to his church community.
“You know, if he was here, he would say that he’s a man of God. He would stand on that firmly,” Courtney Ross, Floyd’s fiancée, told KTRK.
His family has acknowledged that his life had its ups and downs. In 2007, he was charged with armed robbery in a home invasion in Houston, and in 2009, he was sentenced to five years in prison as part of a plea deal, according to court documents, as reported by Al Jazeera.
His move to Minnesota was part of his path toward betterment, his family said.
Floyd was also a regular at Cup Foods, where the arrest unfolded. The store owner, Abumayyaleh, told NBC that he never had an issue with Floyd in the past, describing him as a pleasant customer. He said Floyd “may not have even known that the bill was counterfeit.”
Floyd’s death is being investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
The FBI has asked for anyone who was in the area before, during or after the incident to come forward with information — particularly any photos or videos that could be relevant to the case.
Attorney General William Barr said the federal investigation will seek to “determine whether any federal civil rights laws were violated” related to Floyd’s death. He called the video images of the incident “harrowing to watch” and “deeply disturbing.” He added that the process is “proceeding quickly.”
Chauvin was arrested on Friday on murder charges in Floyd’s death. Throughout his time as an officer, Chauvin has had a number of complaints.
In 2007, Chauvin received a letter of reprimand for violating the department’s mobile and video recording policy, according to disciplinary records obtained by Reuters through a public records request. He was also involved in the fatal shooting of another suspect and received at least 17 complaints during his nearly two decades with the department, according to police records and news reports compiled by the Washington Post.
The three other officers dismissed from the department with Chauvin are also under criminal investigation in Floyd’s case but have not been charged.
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