George Floyd's Girlfriend Says Riots Would 'Devastate' Him, Calls for Peace

George Floyd's girlfriend said that the riots in Minneapolis in response to his death would "devastate" him as she called for peaceful protests.

Courteney Ross, Floyd's girlfriend for the past three years, told The Star Tribune she is "heartbroken" by the riots that occurred Wednesday.

"Waking up this morning to see Minneapolis on fire would be something that would devastate Floyd. He loved the city. He came here [from Houston] and stayed here for the people and the opportunities. ... Floyd was a gentle giant. He was about love and about peace," Ross said, adding that while she understands the frustration, "I want people to protest in a peaceful way."

Protests were held in the city after Floyd died Monday following his arrest when a police officer knelt on his neck. In a video of the arrest shared to Facebook, Floyd can be heard saying he cannot breathe before he eventually becoming unresponsive. The Minneapolis Fire Department stated in their report that Floyd had no pulse before he was loaded into an ambulance that sent him to the Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

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The protests Wednesday turned to riots and looting as multiple fires were set by the angry crowds that gathered in the city. Police used tear gas in an attempt to disperse the large gatherings of people destroying property around the city.

Benjamin Crump, the attorney representing Floyd's family as they seek justice, sent out a series of tweets Thursday on behalf of Floyd's family thanking the protesters for their support and stating that "looting and violence" serve as a distraction from their efforts to seek justice.

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"George Floyd's family thanks all of the protesters for joining them in standing for justice. They know we're all hurting and any decent human being who watches the video of police killing their Gentle Giant will also feel shortness of breath," Crump stated.

"George Floyd's family wants peace in Minneapolis – but knows that Black people want peace in their souls – and until we get #JusticeForFloyd there will be no peace. We cannot sink to the level of our oppressors and endanger each other as we respond to the necessary urge to raise our voices in unison and in outrage. Looting and violence distract from strength of our collective voice," Crump stated.

Newsweek reached out to Crump for further comment, but he did not respond in time for publication.

Floyd spoke out against violence in a recently resurfaced video where he encourages the younger generation to stop gun violence.

"You youngsters are just going around, busting guns in crowds. Kids are getting killed. It's clearly the generation after us, man, that's so lost," Floyd said into a camera, asking young people to "come on home" because "one day it's going to be you and God. You're going up or you're going down."

 Vigil Held For George Floyd, Who Was Killed In Police Custody In Minneapolis
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 28: A memorial lies outside the Cup Foods, where George Floyd was killed in police custody, on May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Stephen Maturen/Getty
George Floyd's Girlfriend Says Riots Would 'Devastate' Him, Calls for Peace | U.S.