Courteney Ross, George Floyd's 44-year-old girlfriend, spoke with the Daily Mail about the more personal aspects of Floyd's life before he was killed in an incident with Minneapolis police officers on May 25.
A fresh start and Convict Kitchen
Before his untimely death, Floyd had big plans: He and his girlfriend of three years were planning on opening up a Minneapolis restaurant called Convict Kitchen, the outlet reported.
The plan was inspiring: Floyd, who'd served time in a Texas prison, vowed never to go back to jail, and decided he would use his experience as a springboard for convicts to have a job to come to after their release.
Ross certainly had the experience, managing a local coffee shop, so she fully supported Floyd's dream. She told the outlet that Floyd was grateful for the second chance he'd been given following his own stint in prison, and wanted to give back to others by providing convicts with a positive experience and opportunity.
The two spoke for the last time the day before former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin crushed the life out of Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Ross said their final conversation ended with an "I love you," according to the report.
"He came to Minneapolis about five years ago from Houston," Ross recalled. "He wanted to escape the criminal environment he was in, and after he was released from prison, he made the move to Minneapolis to start fresh."
Start fresh he did — Ross said she watched as Floyd completely turned his life around.
Floyd served five years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated assault in a 2007 incident — an armed robbery along with another man.
"[A]fter he was released, he was able to get help with an organization called Turning Point," Ross said. "One job led to another and another. He really loved it here. He did get some peace in his life here."
As for the restaurant that would never be, the 6-foot-6 Floyd had big plans.
"Floyd ... had some of the foods picked out that he wanted to serve his customers," she said. "He wanted to serve food at his restaurant that ex-cons would cook in their cell, using the foods inmates would buy at the commissary and making a gourmet dish out of it."
A tearful Ross recalled, "Floyd used to tell me that you can practically make anything out of Top Ramen noodles. You can grind them up and use them to make pizza dough, to a cake if you add Oreo cookies."
A chance meeting and a prayer
Ross said that she first met Floyd at a local Salvation Army shelter. According to the outlet, Floyd, who worked security at the facility, saw Ross visiting a friend at the shelter and helped to comfort her after she became visibly upset.
"Floyd was working security at the time, and I was in the lobby waiting for this guy I had been having an on-and-off relationship with who just happened to be homeless," Ross recalled. "I was a mess at the time, and while waiting in the lobby, this tall man walked in and greeted me."
She pointed to the man's gentle nature, even at 6-foot-6, as a testament to his character.
"Floyd is 6'6," she said. "He's an imposing figure, but his hug was so gentle and comforting. We talked about my problems, and we prayed together. I fell in love at first sight."
Ross said that simply being around Floyd was enough to bring up a person's spirits.
"He is such a spiritual man," she said, "beyond just being prayerful and a man of God. He had a sense about him that just made you feel comforted, feel good, feel validated. Just lift you up, lift your spirits up."
Ross isn't sure what will happen to her now that her gentle giant is gone.
"Floyd loved life," she recalled. "Everyone who met him loved him. He really turned his life around and was just on the verge of really making something of himself, and now it's all been taken away."
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