The Flatbush community came together on Thursday to pay their respects and bid adieu to a six-foot-tall statue commemorating George Floyd, before it travels New York City.
The statue — a 500-pound wooden bust of Floyd’s profile at Flatbush Junction — was unveiled last month as part of borough-wide Juneteenth celebrations, and was made by artist Chris Carnabuci in partnership with social justice-oriented art group ConfrontART and Floyd Family nonprofit We Are Floyd Foundation.
It stood for just five days before being defaced, but many in the area rallied to help restore the art project to its former glory — and on its last day in Flatbush, area Councilmember Farah Louis joined with Floyd’s brother, Terrence, to say thanks to the community.
“I just want to say thank you, thank you to Brooklyn, to Flatbush, you really held it down,” said Terrence, George’s Brooklyn-based brother who helms the We Are Floyd Foundation.
Terrence was in Minneapolis for the sentencing of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who was found guilty of murdering his brother, when the statue was desecrated by a white supremacist group.
“You really supported us, looked out for the statue, you looked out for the spirit of my brother, and I so appreciate y’all,” he told the crowd Thursday.
Floyd’s killing by a Minnesota police officer last summer spurred thousands of Americans take to the streets in response to the police killings of unarmed Black people — and caused national legislators to mark the holiday representing the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.
Under the gaze of Floyd’s statue, a free food giveaway drew dozens of locals lined up around the block. Those who stopped by received complimentary bags of canned goods, fruits, vegetables and other produce. After families had collected a feast, they whipped out their cell phones to record rappers and trumpet players beneath the likeness of Floyd.