Houstonians gather to honor George Floyd, and protest police brutality

Before moving to Minneapolis, George Floyd was a resident in Houston’s Third Ward.

Hundreds of residents from the community gathered at Emancipation Park for a vigil in his honor, and to protest against police brutality.

Floyd was killed Monday night in Minneapolis. Police accused him of being a criminal, but tonight the Houston man was honored in Third Ward, remembered as a gentle giant, with a huge heart.

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Over 200 people gathered at Emancipation Park in the Third Ward neighborhood where George Floyd was raised, he moved to Minneapolis to start a new life, close friends of Floyd claiming he was on the right track.

Milton Carney, a close friend who calls Floyd a brother, tells FOX 26, “He was doing good. He had got there he obtain some property, like I said, he had just called me. We was high-fiving and talking on the phone about, you know, you just got your first piece of property, man that means it’s working. You’re gonna be alright.”

Johnny Phillips is another close friend who said, "Growing up in the community homes, you know, he was just a young guy that was athletic, fun to be around, and was lovable."

The crowd held a moment of silence to honor their friend who died while handcuffed, with a Minneapolis Police Officer putting weight with his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes, causing Floyd to pass out, and die in the hospital. Floyd was well-known and respected in the community.

MORE: ‘Please, please I can’t breathe’: Man dies after being detained by Minneapolis police, FBI investigating

“He was like a big teacher, he was educated," Cal Wayne said this about Floyd. "He wasn’t a dumb man, he had a scholarship, he went to college, you know what I’m saying, and he was on the path to doing better. Like I said, and he was non-violent.”

Emotions ran high when HPD Officer tried to address the crowd, but for the most part was peaceful.

Attendees said tonight was about honoring their brother.

“I want him to be remembered as a good person, that he was. And he’s going to be remembered as that. And he’s going to get justice, something is going to happen.” says Carney.

Some people who attended the vigil say that this is just the beginning for them, and are making plans to head Minneapolis in their quest to see justice served.

RELATED: Protesters, officers clash at Minneapolis Police precinct after killing of George Floyd