Jack Yates High School alumni held a vigil and walk in MacGregor Park on Saturday to honor George Floyd.
Floyd, a Houston native, grew up in the Third Ward and graduated from Jack Yates High School where he played football. Floyd graduated from the school in 1993.
He died in Minneapolis police custody while being arrested Monday. Video showed an officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck, pinning him to the ground while he pleaded that he couldn’t breathe.
Dozens gathered in the park to honor their classmate. Many wore crimson and gold, the Yates High School official colors.Others carried posters. One sign read “Enough Injustice Justice Now!”
Before the event began, organizers cautioned attendees to respect the event and maintain a peaceful presence in the park.
“We’re not here to rile up the city,” said attendee and Yates High School alum Marcus Brooks. “We’re here to bring love and just harmony but also to celebrate the life of George and bring focus to injustice. Period. Not just in Houston but all over the world.”
Demonstrations are being held across the country in the wake of Floyd's death. A rally in Houston Friday began as a peaceful demonstration turned less than overnight as groups blocked highway entrances, threw objects at officers, smashed the windows and windshields of a police cruiser, shattered the windows of area businesses and looted at least one store.
100 to 150 people were arrested during the rally and a handful of HPD officers sustained minor injuries.