George Floyd as a child 'wanted to become Supreme Court judge', teacher remembers

Waynel Sexton, George Perry Floyd’s former teacher, found a short essay and drawing that he did in second grade. At the time, he dreamed of becoming a Supreme Court Justice.
Waynel Sexton, George Perry Floyd’s former teacher, found a short essay and drawing that he did in second grade. At the time, he dreamed of becoming a Supreme Court Justice. © AFP

Waynel Sexton, George Floyd’s former teacher, found a short essay and drawing that he did in second grade. At the time, he dreamed of becoming a Supreme Court Justice. 

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On May 25, 46-year-old African-American George Floyd died during an arrest for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Derek Chauvin, a 44-year-old white officer, has pressed a knee into his neck for exactly eight minutes and 46 seconds, despite his pleas of "I can't breathe". 

The video recording of the Floyd's death, released on social media, ignited worldwide protests against police brutality and racism.

After learning of his death, his former teacher Waynel Sexton remembered that she still had some of his work from second grade: a short essay and drawing inspired by Black History Month, in which George Floyd imagined his future as a Supreme Court Justice. 

"Every day during Black History Month, we studied a different famous black American," she explained. "And so Perry had been especially influenced by Thurgood Marshall. And he wrote that when he grew up, he wanted to become a Supreme Court judge." 

Young Floyd wrote: "When people say, 'Your Honor, he did rob the bank.' I will say: 'Be seated.' And if he doesn't, I will tell the guard to take him out. Then I will beat my hammer on the desk, then everybody will be quiet."

He also drew a picture of himself as a judge.

"I didn't know him as an adult. I only know this little piece of him. But no one, no one, deserves to be murdered in the way that he was," Sexton said. 

George Floyd's funeral took place on June 9 in his hometown of Houston, where thousands lined the streets to pay their respects.

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