Bridgett Floyd loaded boxes with green, red and yellow produce as sunlight beamed through the windows at the Salvation Army.
She cracked jokes. She chatted with volunteers. She evoked the memory of her older brother George Floyd on Thursday, several miles south of the courtroom where the man charged in his killing stood trial as the world watched.
“This has already taken my mind off of what is going on [in the courtroom,] and I needed that a little bit,” Bridgett Floyd said. “I needed that a little bit. It’s been a trying, trying week. And we will get through it. We will get through it.”
After traveling from her home in Fayetteville, N.C., to seek justice for her brother, Floyd took the morning off from watching the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin. Instead, she spent it giving away food at the Salvation Army food shelf on E. Lake Street.
It was the type of service George Floyd knew well: He worked as a security guard for a downtown homeless shelter run by the Salvation Army and often stopped by to visit friends and volunteer for the needy even after his job ended.
“They’re going to discredit George Floyd” during the trial, said Jacari Harris, who accompanied Bridgett Floyd to the Salvation Army. “But we want the world to remember and know that George Floyd was active in the community. He volunteered. He showed up. He would give the shirt off his back.”
Bridgett Floyd launched the George Floyd Memorial Foundation last September to carry on her brother’s legacy and promote social justice. The organization made its first $5,000 donation to the Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center last year and hired Harris as executive director. Bridgett Floyd, who is president, and Harris hope to participate in several more community events during the trial, trying to carry out the deeds they believe George Floyd would still be doing if he were alive.
“It’s been an emotional roller coaster,” Bridgett Floyd said. “I’m here to stand tall for my brother. To let everyone know that he was not the guy that officers made him to be. … He had a family. He had a little girl that he left behind. And he left people behind that really cared about him. The community was his heart.”