George Perry Floyd Jr. (October 14, 1973 – May 25, 2020) was a black American man killed during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after allegedly using counterfeit money to buy cigarettes. Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes as he lay handcuffed on the ground. After his death, protests against police violence toward black people quickly spread across the United States and internationally.
Floyd grew up in Houston, Texas. He played football and basketball throughout high school and college. He held several jobs, and he was also a hip hop artist and a mentor in his religious community. Between 1997 and 2005, he was convicted of eight crimes; in 2009, he accepted a plea bargain for a 2007 aggravated robbery, serving four years in prison. In 2014, he moved to the Minneapolis area, finding work as a truck driver and a bouncer. In 2020, he lost his security job during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He is also known as Big Floyd, Floyd the Landlord, George Perry Floyd and George Perry Floyd Jr..
On May 25, 2020, Floyd was arrested after allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a grocery store in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. He died after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, pressed his knee to Floyd's neck for nearly eight minutes during the arrest. Floyd was handcuffed face down in the street,
while two other officers further restrained Floyd and a fourth prevented onlookers from intervening.:6:24
For the last three of those minutes Floyd was motionless and had no pulse, but officers made no attempt to revive him.:6:46 Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd's neck as arriving emergency medical technicians attempted to treat him.:7:21
The official autopsy report classified Floyd's death as a homicide attributed to cardiopulmonary arrest caused by subdual and restraint. A second autopsy, commissioned by Floyd's family and performed by Michael Baden, without access to various tissue and fluid samples, found that the "evidence is consistent with mechanical asphyxia as the cause" of death, with neck compression restricting blood flow to the brain, and back compression restricting breathing. Some experts have theorized positional asphyxia.
After Floyd's death, protests were held globally against the use of excessive force by police officers against black suspects and lack of police accountability. Protests began in Minneapolis the day after his death and developed in over 400 cities throughout all 50 U.S. states and internationally.