Before George Floyd’s life was brought to a premature end this week, the 46-year-old Minnesotan issued a plea for the younger generations involved in gun violence and crime: drop the weapons, and “come on home”.
A resurfaced video of Mr Floyd has gone viral in the days after his death, one of the latest police-involved killings of an unarmed black man in America that was recorded in real-time and shared around the world.
His message, featured in the undated video, focused on the apparent rise in gun violence he had witnessed over the years: “You youngsters just going around busting guns in crowds, kids getting killed.”
“You know what I’m saying,” he continued. “Half them young n***** shooting guns go home and their knees shaking at night, but they don’t show it to nobody because they aren’t tough then.”
Mr Floyd then added: “Come on, come on home, man. It’s going to be you and God. You’re going up or you’re going down.”
The FBI, along with Minnesota state authorities, have launched investigations into Mr Floyd’s death after disturbing cellphone footage recorded by a bystander showed him pinned to the ground by a white police officer.
The four white officers involved in Mr Floyd’s death have been identified as Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng. Mr Chauvin was seen kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck, refusing to move for several minutes even as he screamed “I can’t breathe” multiple times. All four officers have since been fired from the department.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has since called for the officers involved in the killing to be arrested, saying at a recent press conference: “Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?”
At one point in the cellphone footage, the officers order Mr Floyd to get in the police car. He responds by telling them he can’t move: “I can’t, my neck. I’m through. My stomach hurts, my neck hurts, everything hurts.”
Mr Floyd’s death has sparked major protests in Minneapolis that led to violent demonstrations on Wednesday night. Local officials have since called for calm, while reassuring residents they are seeking justice over the killing.
An attorney for Mr Floyd’s family said his loved ones “all watched the horrific death … on video as witnesses begged the police officer to take him to the police car and get off his neck.”
The attorney’s statement continued: “This abusive, excessive, and inhumane use of force cost the life of a man who was being detained by the police for questioning about a non-violent charge.”