The generous donations from around the world already assure that Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter will be able to afford a college education.
HOUSTON (CN) — A counterfeit $20 bill allegedly triggered the chain of events leading to George Floyd’s death. Days later, more than $20 million has been donated to his family and to charities in his honor and the outpouring is growing by the minute.
As Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter Gianna stood by her mother Roxie Washington behind a podium at a news conference in Minneapolis on Tuesday, and Washington choked up as she said Floyd will never see Gianna graduate, donations were flooding into a GoFundMe page set up that day for Gianna.
Nearly 52,000 people had donated $1.61 million to the fund as of 6 a.m. Eastern time Friday, exceeding its goal of $1.5 million. “All money that is donated will be placed in a trust for Gianna and her mother,” the page states.
With his remains yet to be interred, Floyd already has become a universal symbol of racial injustice, his reach propelled by the mushroom cloud effect of social media.
His face and some of his last words — “I can’t breathe” — are on the T-shirts of people protesting his death around the world. Dozens of companies are selling the shirts online, competing to cash in on Floyd’s posthumous fame.
Billionaire rapper and fashion designer Kanye West said Thursday he had established a college savings fund for Gianna, and donated $2 million to the families of Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and the families’ attorneys.
Arbery, 25, was shot to death on Feb. 23 by a white father and son after they chased him in their pickup truck while he was jogging.
One of the shooters said he saw Arbery “hauling ass” through his neighborhood and he thought he was a burglar.
Police in Louisville, Kentucky shot Taylor, 26, in her apartment on March 13 after they broke down the front door without announcing themselves while executing a no-knock drug warrant.
Taylor’s boyfriend reportedly shot at the police before they opened fire and fatally shot Taylor eight times. Police found no drugs.
Champion boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. cut an $88,000 check to cover Floyd’s funeral expenses.
Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd said some of the more than $12.9 million donated in another online fundraiser for his family will be used to cover funeral and burial services.
Organizers of his Houston memorial services said officers from multiple law enforcement agencies will provide security for a public viewing Monday, as tens of thousands people are expected to descend on the Fountain of Praise Church for the event, CBS affiliate KHOU 11 reported.
It is not just celebrities and individual donors who are helping Floyd’s family.
The world’s largest health insurance company, UnitedHealth Group, ranked No. 7 on Forbes’ Magazine’s Fortune 500 list, announced Monday it is setting up a trust fund to pay for the college education of Floyd’s children.
The insurer is also donating $5 million to the YMCA Equity Innovation Center in its hometown Minneapolis, in memory of Floyd, and another $5 million to help business owners in Minneapolis and St. Paul whose shops were destroyed by people who exploited protests sparked by Floyd’s death to loot stores.
Floyd’s legacy has also touched academia.
Prairie View A&M University President Ruth Simmons, in a letter issued Monday, said the historically black college 50 miles northwest of Houston will establish a Center for Race and Justice and require all students to take a course on the history of race and class in America.
“The stark brutality of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis has further deepened the crisis in the country and reawakened a sense of fear and outrage across the world and especially among African Americans who recognize the crime as part and parcel of the reality that they endure every day,” Simmons wrote.
Floyd, 46, died on Memorial Day as Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck and two other officers put their weight on his back. All four officers involved were immediately fired and are facing criminal charges.
The officers arrested Floyd after employees of a grocery store said he had bought cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill.
He was reportedly a regular customer of the store. Its owner said Floyd may not have known the bill was fake, according to news reports.