Two days before the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, members of his family and droves of New Yorkers rallied on Sunday in Brooklyn to honor his memory and the societal changes that occurred following his death.
On Sunday morning, Brooklyn Borough Hall served as the convergence point where Floyd’s family chose to both celebrate his life and mourn the way in which it was so brutally snuffed out. Floyd — who died from prolonged pressure from the knee of convicted former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin — catapulted the Black Lives Matter movement into the public consciousness and served as a springboard for the 2020 summer of protests.
Now, almost one year later and with Chauvin soon to be sentenced, a large rally at 209 Joralemon St. on May 23 aimed to remind the city that more work needs to be done in order to achieve equality.
“This year has been a rollercoaster ride for us. I’m just thankful for the people throughout this nation who have shown so much love for the Floyd family, so much love for justice and what is right. The world woke up. Finally their eyes are open to what we already knew,” said Terrence Floyd, brother of George Floyd, as he implored others to keep the movement going.
At the memorial ceremony,Terrence announced that he has founded WeAreFloyd.org, a new organization named in honor of his late brother that aims to aid minorities with social justice actions and support those with mental health issues.
“As long as we keep their names ringing, the face of justice will look like what it is now – changed,” Terrence added, calling for policy changes within NYPD, such as retraining officers. “If they don’t know the difference between a taser and a gun, something is wrong.”
Although it was a somber occasion, Terrence Floyd reminded attendees it was also about reveling in the life George Floyd led. Live music rang out from the Borough Hall while an artist painted a likeness of George throughout the ceremony.
Still, despite the jovial mood on Sunday, Terrence Floyd couldn’t help but become choked up while remembering his brother.
“We are all in different places but we are on the same course. We are family and that was my brother. That was my children’s uncle. My baby girl right here, the last time I spoke to my brother, we were planning a playdate for Gianna and my daughter,” Terrence said, breaking down in tears.
As other members of Floyd’s family hosts memorials in Minneapolis and other states, Terrence believes that while they live in different parts of the country, the message of justice and the path to righteousness is the same.
“That dream is not going to go unseen. I’m going to get my daughter and niece together and they are going to know each other. They are going to have the same love as cousins as I have for my brother,” Terrence said, adding, “I’m his sibling and his brother and nothing will ever change that. I thank God that I had the chance to meet him before his demise. I’m glad I had a chance to bond with him.”
Chants rung out at the end of the ceremony, attendees shouted, “We are Floyd!”