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Childhood friend remembers George Floyd as a gentle giant

HOUSTON – Jonathan Veal met George Floyd in the sixth grade.

"I was blown away cause at 12 years old he was six-foot-two. I had never seen anyone that tall before," he said.

Veal and Floyd both grew up in Houston's Third Ward and attended Jack Yates High School. Veal said Floyd instantly became a duo star athlete, playing both basketball and football.

Over the years, both they moved out of state but kept in touch.

"We had actually communicated back in January. He sent me text messages on my birthday just reliving some dreams," said Veal. "He just said, 'I love you appreciate you, big dawg,'"

That would be the last time Veal heard from Floyd.

Veal said he had seen the video of Floyd's death, which caused public outrage and national protests.

"Obviously, the officer that had his knee on Floyd's throat was very disturbing, but I think more than that, the three other officers that were there lacked accountability for human life," Veal said.

Veal said he hopes the officers are held responsible, and justice is served. He said he wants Floyd’s legacy to live on.

“I remember him saying he wanted to touch the world. He wanted to have a worldwide impact,” said Veal.“I remember him saying he wanted to touch the world. He wanted to have a worldwide impact,” said Veal.