HOUSTON (KXAN/NBC News) — A mural was unveiled in front of a Houston high school on Saturday — in memory of George Floyd, one of its former students.
The mural, dedicated to Floyd, reads “Black Lives Matter” in bright red and gold paint and spans two blocks outside of Jack Yates High School. Artist Jonah Elijah created the mural along with volunteers, who attended the unveiling in the company of Floyd family members.
“This means so much to my family and I know it would mean a lot to my uncle,” said Floyd’s niece Bianca Williams. “Continue to stand with us. This is the beginning of a long fight, united together, stronger than ever.”
The mural was commissioned by Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, along with the Houston Society for Change and the nonprofit group 88 C.H.U.M.P., a minority advocacy group created by friends of George Floyd.
The unveiling ceremony also featured an appearance by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who presented the Floyd family with the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The legislation focuses on justice training police officers and aims to provide money to communities to re-imagine policing.
Floyd, 46, was killed on May 25, 2020, during an arrest in Minneapolis when Derek Chauvin, a white officer, knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes. The disturbing incident was captured on video by witnesses and caused huge reverberations worldwide, leading to sweeping calls for social justice throughout the rest of the year.
Chauvin and three other officers were fired and all face charges related to second-degree murder and manslaughter. Their trial is scheduled for March.
Elsewhere, murals memorializing Floyd have been created in several other U.S. cities, including another Floyd memorial in Houston and in Minneapolis.
A mural featuring Floyd’s face over a burning city was painted by artist Chris Rogers in Austin’s east side, which Rogers said is meant to symbolize not only injustice with policing, but problems “with the way this country is operating and has been operating.”
Other murals in honor of George Floyd, and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement overall, have been created around the world, in cities like Manchester, Belfast, Berlin, Gaza City, and Idlib, Syria.