Erykah Badu celebrates George Floyd’s birthday with his family

"We know that your life was not in vain," the singer said of Floyd.

Erykah Badu gathered with members of George Floyd’s family after her concert Wednesday night at the Armory in Minneapolis. The singer took a moment to honor Floyd on what would have been his 48th birthday. 

“People of planet earth, we’re about four minutes away from George Floyd’s birthday,” she said in a clip filmed backstage at her show. “He would’ve been 48 years old, and I’m here with his family now. It seems like we have a moment of peace right now, and we know that your life was not in vain.”
Erykah Badu attends Black Girls Rock 2019 Hosted By Niecy Nash at NJPAC on August 25, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for BET)

“Thank you for your spirit and your sacrifice,” Badu added. “So that we can move on the way that we should, be where we supposed to as a people.”

Floyd was murdered on May 25, 2020 by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin who responded to a local market on suspicion of a person using a fake $20 bill. After kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes and taking the man’s life, Chauvin was later convicted to 22 and a half years in prison. 

Earlier this month, it was reported that the Harris County Public Defender’s Office applied for clemency for Floyd for a 2004 drug conviction in Houston for which he spent 10 months in jail.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted unanimously to approve the request this week, according to an NBC News report. 

“The board does not conduct interviews regarding individual clemency recommendations. A recommendation is rendered on each case after the totality of information is considered,” said Timothy McDonnell, a spokesman for the board. 

George Floyd
People carry posters with George Floyd on them as they march from the Lincoln Memorial to the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

The recommendation for clemency will now head to the desk of Governor Greg Abbott, who has not commented on whether or not he will sign off on the request.

“We lament the loss of former Houstonian George Floyd and hope that his family finds comfort in Monday’s decision,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement. “We do not support the integrity of Mr. Floyd’s conviction and agree these circumstances warrant a posthumous pardon. We urge Governor Abbott to follow the board’s recommendation and grant clemency.”

Floyd was arrested in 2004 for selling $10 worth of crack to an undercover police officer. He later pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 10 months in jail.

Meanwhile, as previously reported on theGRIO, in September, the bipartisan push for federal police reform in the aftermath of Floyd’s murder collapsed in Congress.

Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Tim Scott, Rep. Karen Bass, and other lawmakers have been working together to form a consensus that would see legislation enacted to increase accountability for police officers for months. The measures would include restricting certain practices, training and more transparency for officers, and limiting qualified immunity.

However, sources told CBS News that the talks have been abandoned. Sen. Booker confirmed the impasse in a statement.  

“Unfortunately, even with this law enforcement support and further compromises we offered, there was still too wide a gulf with our negotiating partners and we faced significant obstacles to securing a bipartisan deal,” the New Jersey Democrat said.

This article contains additional reporting from theGRIO’s Biba Adams and Stephanie Guerilus.

Have you subscribed to the Grio podcasts, ‘Dear Culture’ or Acting Up? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!