George Floyd

‘It Just Hurts So Bad,' Floyd's Sister Says One Year Later

George Floyd's sister, LaTonya Floyd, says even though the conviction of a former officer brought some relief, it doesn't erase the pain.

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The death of George Floyd spawned nationwide activism, memorials and the introduction of police reform legislation at the state and federal levels. But for his family, Tuesday's one-year anniversary of the 46-year-old's passing was a painful reminder that Floyd is gone.

“It hurts, it just hurts so bad." LaTonya Floyd, George Floyd's older sister, said. “That was my baby brother, (I remember when) he came home from the hospital. We slept, we played hide and go-seek, all of that, he was my angel."

George Floyd was born in North Carolina but raised in Houston. He lived in Third Ward and grew up in Cuney Homes, a public housing complex.

He played football at Jack Yates High School and was also known as Big Floyd. Locally he was known for his rapping abilities and was a part of the Screwed Up Click, -- led by the late DJ Screw, who was famous for slowing down hip-hop beats.

“This community meant a whole lot to him and the community lost an icon, a pillar," Tiffany Cofield, a close friend of Floyd, said as she stood beside a mural of his face painted on the side of a store in Third Ward. “It’s hard for me to come here, but it’s also the place I feel closest to him," she said about Floyd.

"I talked to him a week and a half before he died, I was the person who dropped him off to the Greyhound when he left in 2017," Cofield said.

A jury found former officer Derek Chauvin guilty of George Floyd’s murder in April. Floyd’s family says hearing the verdict brought a moment of relief, but doesn’t erase the pain. NBC 5’s Sophia Beausoleil spoke with Floyd’s sister in Houston who reflected on what this day means to her.

Floyd moved to Minneapolis to try and change his life after some past mistakes.

“He just wanted to be a good dad, he just wanted to be a better human than he was before, a better man than he was before," Cofield said.

Floyd's death became the catalyst for lawmakers who have pushed different police reform bills in his name.

Some North Texas lawmakers hoped to pass legislation in his name by the one-year anniversary of Floyd's death, but it didn't happen.

"To date, no bill with the name George Floyd has moved in the Senate nor in the House," Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) said.

West and other Democratic lawmakers at the state Capitol filed the George Floyd Act last fall anticipating bipartisan support.

Over the last several months, only pieces of the proposed bill have had some momentum.

"There has been some legislation on some measures in terms of chokeholds I think that's going to make its way through the process in terms of banning chokeholds," West said. "I think duty to render aid and duty to intervene all those three aspects will make it through the process."

The death of George Floyd spawned nationwide activism, memorials and the introduction of police reform legislation at the state and federal levels. But for his family, Tuesday's one-year anniversary of the 46-year-old's passing was a painful reminder that Floyd is gone.

The Texas House passed a bill Tuesday that would ban officers from using chokeholds during an arrest unless it's to prevent the serious injury or death of an officer or other person.

The Senate would have to approve a change the House made before the bill heads to the governor's desk.

At the federal level, Congress continues to work on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would ban chokeholds along with no-knock police raids and create a national registry for officers disciplined for serious misconduct.

President Joe Biden and Floyd's family hoped to have something passed by Tuesday, but instead reignited calls to push the bill forward.

“I know at some point change is going to come and it’s going to be a big one called George Floyd." LaTonya Floyd said.

There are reminders of what happened to her brother and the social justice movement his death sparked in cities throughout the country through murals, art and groups advocating for change.

LaTonya Floyd said she reminds herself daily of what happened by keeping a newspaper photo of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of murder in her brother's death.

She said she's still not quite sure why she has it, but sometimes hopes it will help her find an answer.

"I wish I could get inside (Chauvin's) mind because I mean what in the world (was he thinking), I know he’s never going to say anything, he has too much pride, I saw that much," LaTonya Floyd said.

She and other family members watched from a living room in Houston as the verdict came down.

"When they said the verdict, and not just the verdict, when they put the handcuffs on him, because he put the handcuffs on my brother and my brother, he never came out them," LaTonya Floyd said.

"I am hysterical, I’m full-fledged in tears, I look over and Rev. Jesse Jackson is crying, Rev. Al Sharpton is crying and these are pantheons in the Civil Rights movement," said Cofield, who was in the Minneapolis courthouse when the verdict was read.

LaTonya Floyd said while she had a moment of relief, it was a reminder that at the end of the day, her brother is no longer here.

“Derek got what he deserved and if that means justice, yeah judicial justice, but there’s not enough justice in the world, because it’s not going to bring him back, he’s gone," LaTonya Floyd said.

She said to this day she still hasn't watched the video of her brothers death which was captured by a bystander on a sidewalk.

"I never watched the video, never, all I saw was his hands behind his back on the ground I heard a little grunting, I never watched it ever because I would be a nutcase," she said.

Even though she can't stomach watching her brother's death, she's grateful to the woman who recorded what happened. The video was used in the trial.

"I don’t even know her and I love her, I think she is awesome, she is an angel, I would like to meet her one day," LaTonya Floyd said.

She said they'll really get a sense of if justice was served based on how much time Chauvin receives. He's expected to be sentenced later this summer.

The three other officers who were there at the time of George Floyd's death are excepted to stand trial next spring.

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