OKC Man Remembers Childhood Friend George Floyd After He Died While In Minneapolis Police Custody

Wednesday, May 27th 2020, 5:14 pm

Oklahoma City resident Jonathan Veal has known George Floyd since 6th grade.

Growing up in Houston, they played high school football together.

Veal remembers the first time he saw him.

“In the cafeteria, this 6 foot, 2 inch, 12-year-old walked in the cafeteria, and I was just blown away. I’ve never seen anyone that tall before," Veal said.

A standout high school athlete in football and basketball, number 88 grew to be 6 feet 6 inches tall, and become known as Big Floyd.

And as Veal recalls, he had some big dreams as well.

“I remember him saying, 'man, I want to touch the world, I want to impact the world.' I wish it wasn’t for this reason," Veal said.

On the evening of May 25, Minneapolis police said they responded to a forgery in progress call at a deli.

A police statement said Floyd resisted arrest. Body cameras were worn but that footage hasn’t been released.

With his head and neck pinned down by an officer, Floyd can be heard saying, "I can't breath." Floyd lost consciousness and later died while still in police custody.

The four officers involved in Monday's incident have all been fired.

Related: George Floyd's Death Sparks Large Protests, Confrontations With Police In Minneapolis

Veal and Floyd last spoke via text in January, when Floyd wished him a happy birthday and said he was trying to find his faith again.

Floyd’s death has prompted a national outrage and rioting in Minneapolis.

At a local level, for years, Norman Pastor Clarence Hill has worked on bringing people of various backgrounds together.

 “I think this is a huge opportunity for Oklahomans, for leadership, to at least say words of solidarity, and to think about what we do between these tragedies to build community," said Hill, the pastor at Antioch Community Church.

The FBI is now investigating the incident due to a possible human right’s investigation.

No criminal charges have been brought against the four officers at this point.