Reaction poured in from George Floyd's native Fayetteville to Raleigh and across the state on Tuesday after a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of all charges related to Floyd's death last year.
DEJUAN HOGGARD: Oh, Tisha, good evening to you, and good evening to everybody watching right now. Just moments ago, the entire nation watched the verdict from this Derek Chauvin trial. And one of those folks was George Floyd's uncle, Roger Floyd, close ties through to the triangle.
And Roger, thanks for-- so much for chatting with us on such short notice. You sat here. You were watching this verdict. You were in anticipation. Once the jury came back in ten and half hours of something favorable, just walk us through right now what it means for you and your family?
ROGER FLOYD: It means a great deal as a family. DeJuan, we are so gratified to get the result that we had prayed for. A verdict of guilty on all three counts it was just solidified today. What the world has been anticipating for almost a year. May 20th, 2020, everyone in the world saw what I saw for my-- with my own eyes.
At that point, I knew that my nephew had been truly murdered. A modern-day legend, that's what it was. And it played out for a whole year. And I think the prosecution put on a remarkable case. As the first prosecutor said, they're going to show sprinkles of this crime, this egregious crime throughout the proceedings.
And they surely did. And it was received. It was so great to see the blue walls of silence open up. And they saw for themselves that this is not protocol as far as their training is concerned. And we saw his resume over the number of years that he's been on the force of where his training was administered year after year after year. OK.
And he knew better than what he did. It was so egregious. Right before our eyes, undeniable that this incident occurred. The body cams and our followers on the street videotaping this. The outcry for the world to see how devastating this was. And as a family, we endured because our faith is strong, and remain strong.
So it was a wonderful, gratifying thing to see. And it's always a good thing to see when justice prevails, absolutely.
DEJUAN HOGGARD: And you bring up faith, and I know-- like I saw as this verdict was read, you just giving thanks to god, and you just speaking of this as an answered prayer.
ROGER FLOYD: Always. Because it's his will, not ours. And his will shall be done, no matter what. Because it's this way when God is not in it, you can't force it at all, but when his will is in it, you can't stop it.
DEJUAN HOGGARD: What do you think this verdict does now moving forward for the culture of policing, for one? And then secondly, we normally don't see police officers law enforcement officers criminally charged and convicted rather--
ROGER FLOYD: Yeah.
DEJUAN HOGGARD: --in cases like this, what do you think that this does moving forward?
ROGER FLOYD: Well, I think it's going to change a lot of things. One, the legislation that's out there, that's been proposed, being enacted into law, now law enforcement, which is a few based on a number of law enforcement officers in this country, for an example, they truly protect and serve.
It's just that you have that small percentage of corrupt law enforcement officers. You see what you get with those individuals. I strongly support law enforcement. They are truly here for us-- to protect and serve, we have to rely on that as a society. If not, it would be wreaking havoc all over the place. Totally out of the sorts. We don't need that.
We just need officers to be more engaged in the communities that they serve. We need them to get to know the people in the communities that they serve. More substations, get out, walk among the people that you serve. Instead of immediately, when you are in-- taking care of calls, the first thing that the citizens see is a gun. They see a taser versus them approaching the situation and trying to de-escalate.
Establish a report, so you can properly communicate what is going on at that particular instance. I realize they have to respond sometimes in a split-second. And sometimes those split second decisions are detrimental to the citizen because they feel their lives may be basically threatened by the particular situation. And I understand that.
But if we go in with the mindset, pull the gun, shoot and ask questions later, we'll never get any further than where we are now. But I think when you enact those laws, they realize, just like any criminal, we realize that there are consequences for their actions.
And those actions will be backed up criminally charged because there's law to enforce it without these loopholes that so many times these officers have been able to get away with these crimes right in your face. OK. So that's the way I look at it overall.
DEJUAN HOGGARD: And then, if I can just take you back to May 25th of last year--
ROGER FLOYD: Sure.
DEJUAN HOGGARD: --when the entire nation, the world saw this on tape, given what we know about the history with law enforcement and charges whether they stick or not. Did you have-- what was going through your mind at that time? Did you think that officer Chauvin and his colleagues were going to be held responsible for this? Or do you think it would have been a repeat of what we've seen before in previous cases?
ROGER FLOYD: Honestly, DeJuan, I had my doubts because I knew from day one when that took place, although again, we thought that the blue wall was going to set up their efforts to get Chauvin acquitted or get a mistrial as a result of this. Orchestrated whatever they could in order to get that result, but this time the world said no.
And yes, I had my doubts about it, and I knew that the prosecution was going to have to build a strong case to eliminate the probability that there would be a doubt. And they did that.
DEJUAN HOGGARD: So when you think nearly 11 months later, you see these three guilty counts that he was charged with and you see the state actually wanting to remain solvent and place them into custody--
ROGER FLOYD: Yeah.
DEJUAN HOGGARD: --you know, what does that do for you when you see him handcuffed on national television being taken away?
ROGER FLOYD: I see that as being justice and protocol. I think there is no preferential treatment. As a result, they did exactly what they should have done. Show the world that they are moving forward with the justice system as it was designed to enforce. That's what I saw today. And again, I am so gratified, I really am. But I do it with grace. I do it with grace.
DEJUAN HOGGARD: And again, thank you so much. Of course, our condolences to you and the entire Floyd family. One last thing I do want to ask you here about the George Floyd Memorial Center.
ROGER FLOYD: Yes, this is a center that we organized and got incorporated in the state in October of 2020. So here we are, approximately six months later, and we have been making leaps and bounds with our efforts to get this 501 (c) (3) off the ground. We are grassroot. We are sort of thrust into that because of what has happened and what we just saw the end result of.
But as a family, we felt that we had to do something, how we could continue to perpetuate what has taken place, injustice in society, basically inequalities. But we want to do something that's beneficial to our society. So we decided to organize, as a family, put this together to move positive change forward. And we had to do this right away.
So the sense of urgency that we need to strategize, put something in place that could be perpetual, that we could help others. So we have set up several initiatives in order to do that. One, you see with the gear, the apparel that I have on today is 525 D as in David, O is in Oscar, E is in Edward, which stands for Day of Enlightenment. What it that all about?
This is an opportunity for us to basically recognize the date of his death that the world saw. What we consider a day of enlightenment was the day that the world was awakening by this event. And we want to make that an annual remembrance to keep George's legacy alive. OK.
Because where do we go from here? Yes, we got the verdict that we were praying about, that we were hopeful for, but where do we go from here? Because it's still going on as we speak. Daunte Wright, the young man in Chicago, 13-year-old that was just shot in an instant by a police officer. And again, we know going back to Daunte Wright, the taser, and the guard. It is still happening since George Floyd.
So we have to stay vigilant in our efforts to keep this going, to keep moving forward, and this is just a start. When we see the-- again, the blue wall coming down because you could not deny what happened. So the George Floyd Memorial Centre is such that we want to really promote something that's positive and how we as a family, as a center, can give back to society.
So we have the 525 initiative going on, which we have apparel online because we want everyone to be wearing this apparel, especially on May 25th. Just to keep the word out. And it's a fundraiser because we started from 0 to pull together what we have to this day moving forward. OK. So we want to promote that, generate the funds, and start working on one of our first initiatives.
And that is what we call dynamic towns. And we're going to start with the community of Raeford, North Carolina. Why? Because first of all, as a family, we are so grateful for how they received us for the celebration of George's home going with the North Carolina Memorial service. They just opened their city and county up to us.
So we said from the onset, what can we do to give back as a family and show that we want positive change? We looked at the socioeconomic status in that community. About 51,000 people, two employers, the education system, the school system there, and basically a portrait plan. Those are the two major employers.
So we say, what can we do to stimulate the economy eventually? So we came up with the idea and partnered with the corporation that's going to provide technology training, CAD, eight-plus networking, OK, drone. And we're going to get these people certified. And we're going to do it in a time frame.
But we're not going to stop there because a lot of people they lead the community to do what? Seek employment elsewhere because the areas income in that market is about $19,000 a year. So we're trying to reduce them migrated to other cities and to build their community, but you can't build your community without employment.
And I'm talking about significant employment because what they can do, they can change their economic status for an average $19,000 a year. And once the certification is done, and by the way that certification to them is absolutely free, this is what the George Floyd Memorial Centre is going to provide for them.
The only thing they've got to do is supply the students. And it's not open to just what you typically think about student, but it's open to the community because there's a 45-year-olds, there's some 50-year-olds that are without employment.
DEJUAN HOGGARD: And also real quick and I know that we want to continue talking about this--
ROGER FLOYD: Sure.
DEJUAN HOGGARD: --we are standing by for a press conference.
ROGER FLOYD: Very good. Very good.
DEJUAN HOGGARD: Do we want to get it back to our folks here.
ROGER FLOYD: No problem.
DEJUAN HOGGARD: Tisha.