Man who died in Minneapolis police custody was Houston native, former neighbor says

HOUSTON – The black man who died in Minneapolis police custody Monday night was a Houston-native, a former neighbor confirmed to KPRC 2.

George Floyd, 45, died Monday night after a struggle with police that ended with a white officer kneeling on his neck for several minutes. A bystander’s video showed him pleading and groaning that he could not breathe as the officer knelt on his neck. The unidentified officer is seen in the video ignoring his pleas. Police claimed Floyd matched the description of a suspect in a forgery case at a grocery store and that he resisted arrest.

A former neighbor remembered Floyd living next door but told KPRC 2 he hadn’t lived in their neighborhood for several years. Floyd worked security at a Minneapolis restaurant for the past five years, according to a report by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Cal Wayne, a friend of Floyd’s, became emotional while speaking to KPRC 2 about his slain friend.

“He was born and raised here. He’s the pillar of the community. He was a fixture in the sports community in Houston, you know what I’m saying? He went out to colleges and played ball. He was up there getting his life together, up there in Minnesota,” Wayne said.

Dozens of people gathered at Houston’s Emancipation Park Tuesday to remember Floyd.

“We grew up together, literally, like the only thing that's not blood between me and him is the blood,” said friend Milton Carney.

Friends said Floyd lived part of his life in the Third Ward. The NAACP said he played football and attended Jack Yates High School.

“He just bought him some property. He was putting his property together,” Carney said of a recent conversation he had with Floyd.

The people at the park said they want the officers involved held accountable.

Prominent civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump was reportedly hired by Floyd’s family in the case.

Earlier Tuesday, four Minneapolis police officers were fired after public outrage erupted over the video and how Floyd was killed. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also apologized to the black community Tuesday in a post on his Facebook page.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.