Who is Roxie Washington? George Floyd's ex and family meet Joe Biden, Kamala Harris on death anniversary
'People mistake him because he was so big that they thought he was always a fighting person - but he was a loving person', she had said
On the one-year anniversary of his murder by former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin, the family of African-American George Floyd met with President Joe Biden and called for sweeping police reforms.
After speaking with top lawmakers about police reform, the Democratic leader and Kamala Harris, America's first female and first Black vice president, welcomed some of Floyd's relatives at the White House. Floyd's family met with Biden and Harris for around an hour on May 25, Tuesday afternoon behind closed doors. Floyd's daughter Gianna, 7, and her mother, Roxie Washington, Floyd's sister Bridgett and Floyd's three brothers Philonise Floyd, Rodney and Terrence and nephew Brandon were among those at the White House.
Who is Roxie Washington?
Washington, 38, was Floyd's ex. She described Floyd, a top football player for his Texas high school team, as a "gentle giant" to the Houston Chronicle. "People mistake him because he was so big that they thought he was always a fighting person - but he was a loving person," Washington had said of her baby's daddy. She described him as a family man who died in a "cruel" manner. He was taken away from his daughter by the police. "She'll never see her father again."
"I just feel like, like, police officers should know. You know, like how to restrain, a person," said Washington speaking about how after Floyd's death their focus had been on the aftermath and what impact it would have on Gianna, then 6, to ABC. Their primary concern has been Gianna's well-being, which is understandable. Washington tells of Gianna, "She believes, she believes there are good cops. She's interacted with good cops, but she's also aware of what those cops did to her father."
In 2018, Floyd moved from Houston, Texas, to Minneapolis, Minnesota, in search of jobs and a new life. He had worked as a truck driver and bouncer.
After Floyd's death Washington had sought justice for him, claiming he was a loving father who didn't deserve to die handcuffed and pinned to the ground by three burly cops. Washington told reporters in her first press conference, with Gianna clinging to her, that she wants the four officers involved in his death to pay for the shooting, which had caused demonstrations across the world.
“At the end of the day, they get to go home and be with their families," she said. "Gianna doesn’t have a father. He will never see her grow up, graduate. He will never walk her down the aisle. He loved her, he loved her so much. I’m here for my baby. I’m here for George because I want justice for him, and I want justice for him because he was good. No matter what anybody thinks, he was good," she added.
"And this is the proof that he was a good man," she continued, referring to his daughter.
The Floyd family in the White House
"It was great. He's a genuine guy," Philonise told reporters after the meeting with Biden and Harris. "They always speak from the heart and it's a pleasure just to be able to have the chance to meet with him when we have the opportunity to," Philonise added.
After the meeting the family all spoke to the press and called on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act, which is pending in the Senate as lawmakers work toward a compromise with Republicans. "Being here today is an honor," Terrence, Floyd's brother, told reporters. "To meet with the president and the vice president and for them to show concern for our family and for them to actually give an ear to our concerns and how we feel on the situation." "I'm grateful for that," he added. "I think genuinely he wanted to know exactly how we were doing and what he could do to support us," said Brandon, Floyd's nephew.
"Mr. Floyd should be alive today," Harris said in a statement after the meeting. "He should be with his family who continue to show courage, grace, and resilience." She also echoed Biden's calls for Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act, saying: "We need to do more."