‘We need to spread love’: Prayer vigil held in Houston for George Floyd’s family as trial continues

HOUSTON – LaTonya Floyd remembered her last conversation with her brother, one week before his death. They talked as siblings do and sang the song she taught him years ago.

It’s her favorite song, from her favorite band: REO Speedwagon’s 1980 hit, “I’m Gonna Keep on Loving You.”

LaTonya Floyd performed the song Friday during a prayer vigil at The Community of Faith Church in northwest Houston. She took the lead. REO Speedwagon’s Kevin Cronin followed.

“My family’s loss, my loss, you know, and for me to feel this good right now. This excited. This happy. It’s nothing but the work of God,” LaTonya Floyd said, as her eyes watered after Cronin gifted her a platinum plaque of the single.

“I stand with LaTonya in this time of tragedy for your family,” Cronin said.

Cronin said he and his daughter marched in California following Floyd’s death, who died at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis. He learned of his connection to the Floyd family while reading an article in People Magazine.

“We need to spread love and that is what this is about,” Cronin said.

Bishop James Dixon agreed, calling on the community to keep the faith that justice will be served, as Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis Police Officer, stands trial for the death of George Floyd.

“We come together today in the spirit of prayer,” Dixon said.

Benjamin Crump, who represents the Floyd family, reminded the audience of how long Chauvin restrained Floyd, which is the cornerstone to the prosecution’s argument that Chauvin’s actions exceeded reasonable use of force.

“Kept his knee on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds,” Crump said, before inviting Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee to speak.

“Untold millions saw the terrifying final 9:29 of life drained from George Floyd,” Jackson Lee stressed.

LaTonya Floyd said the trial has been rough, as she’s had to see her brother be killed repeatedly. Floyd said she and her family remain hopeful, however, because of the support so many have given them.

Friday, Kevin Cronin became part of that circle. Floyd smiled ear-to-ear after their performance together at the church. A bittersweet feeling, she stressed, one she’ll never forget.

“It’s like a dream come true,” LaTonya Floyd said, before adding, “I want (people) to see a lot of love that was in the house. The prayer. The power of God. Everyone be coming together, working together.”

About the Author:

Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. NOLA born and bred, though #HoustonStrong, with stops in Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut in along the way.