George Floyd’s girlfriend calls rioters to ‘protest peacefully,’ saying the ongoing riots over his death would ‘devastate him.’
A white former cop Derek Chauvin knelt on unarmed Floyd’s neck for about eight minutes. This led to Floyd losing consciousness and passing away shortly after.
Following his death, violent protests and riots have been taking place in various states, including Minnesota, New York, and Washington.
Floyd’s girlfriend Courtney Ross has now spoken out.
According to reports, Ross said violence and riots would only ‘devastate him.’
Referencing the destruction and arson at the protests, Ross told the Star Tribune of Minnesota that she understands people’s ‘frustrations.’
But she ‘want people to protest in a peaceful way.’
“I am heartbroken,” said Ross, who, according to the outlet, had been dating Floyd for three years before his death.
Speaking about the riots that occurred on Wednesday, May 27, she added:
“Waking up this morning to see Minneapolis on fire would be something that would devastate Floyd… He loved the city.”
“He came here [from Houston] and stayed here for the people and the opportunities. … Floyd was a gentle giant. He was about love and peace.”
As per the Star Tribune reports, Benjamin Crump, the lawyer for Floyd’s family, also said:
“Floyd’s relatives thank the protesters for joining them in standing for justice. [But] we also cannot sink to the level of our oppressors. And cannot endanger each other as we respond to the necessary urge to raise our voices in unison and outrage.”
Minneapolis police arrested Floyd on Monday, May 25, for using a counterfeit $20 note in a shop.
According to witnesses, one of the officers knelt on Floyd’s neck for around eight minutes.
Floyd passed out and later died.
Bystanders captured the fatal encounter with police on camera, and now the footage is sparking nationwide outrage.
In the video, an officer is placing his knee firmly on the back of Floyd’s neck. Floyd is groaning in pain while bystanders plead with Chauvin to be ‘gentle.’
Throughout the clip, the unarmed man repeatedly asks for help.
He even tells the officers he cannot breathe, and “everything hurts.” The video continues until Floyd was visibly still.
Derek Chauvin, the ex-officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck, has since been fired.
Investigators have charged him with murder and manslaughter, according to Hennepin County District Attorney Mike Freeman.