George Perry Floyd Jr was born on October 14, 1973 and died on May 25, 2020. He was an African American man who died during a police arrest in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. The racist circumstances that led to his death quickly caused protests/riots in response to both Floyd’s death, and more broadly to police violence against other black people This quickly spread across the United States and internationally.
Floyd was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and raised in Cuney Homes in the Third Ward of Houston, Texas. Friends and family called him Perry and characterized him as a “gentle giant”; he was 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) tall and weighed 223 pounds (101 kg) at autopsy.
At Yates High School, Floyd played on the basketball team and helped lead the football team to the Texas state championships; he graduated in 1993. He attended South Florida Community College for two years and played on its basketball team. He transferred to Texas A&M University–Kingsville, where he also played basketball, before dropping out.
Floyd returned to Houston where he became an automotive customizer and played club basketball. Beginning in 1994 he also performed as a rapper using the stage name “Big Floyd” in the hip hop group Screwed Up Click. Floyd has been called an early contributor to the development of Houston’s hip-hop scene. He also was an informal community leader and mentor to young men.
After several arrests for theft and drug possession, Floyd was charged in 2007 with armed robbery in a home invasion; he agreed to a plea deal in 2009 and was sentenced to five years in prison. He was paroled in 2013 after spending four years at the Diboll Unit. After his release, he became involved with Resurrection Houston, a local ministry.
In 2014, he moved to the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, where he took jobs driving a truck and providing security at a restaurant and lived in St. Louis Park. In 2017, he filmed an anti–gun violence video. In 2020, he lost his security job because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He had five children, including two daughters who reside in Houston, ages 6 and 22, and an adult son in Bryan, Texas.