George Floyd’s family braces for verdict, 1-year anniversary of his death

HOUSTON – A tribute to George Floyd takes up an entire wall in his niece Bianca Williams’ dining room.

“It’s my happy place, my peace of mind, my sanctuary,” she said.

Floyd’s older sister, LaTonya Floyd, said watching the trial, especially this week’s presentation by Derek Chauvin’s defense team has been difficult.

“I do, but then, I don’t,” LaTonya said, keeping the remote nearby ready to mute during parts she finds difficult. She’s never seen the cell phone video of her brother’s death.

On Tuesday, the defense put up a witness who disputed the prosecution’s theory that Floyd died as a result of Chauvin’s knee on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds.

A former medical examiner and forensic pathologist said drugs in his system caused Floyd to have a heart attack but also suggested he may have suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning due to his proximity to the tailpipe of the police car.

“Every time Derek Chauvin’s attorney gets up there he says, ‘ok let’s take the police out of the equation. Everything that they’re talking about, everything they’re doing is a crock of mess. But it’s cut and dry to me,” LaTonya said.

With a verdict near and the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death next month, the family said it will be a tough time but they remain hopeful.

“That’s going to be painful, just the thought of that date May 25, and then my mother is May 30th. With the verdict coming up I think it’s going to be a happy May, it’s going to be painful in our hearts but it’s going to be a happy May. I think we’re going to get justice,” she said.

LaTonya said she plans to travel to Minneapolis to hear the verdict in person when it happens.

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