LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - It has been over a week since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis devastated the world. One man in Lawton feels the pain even more so after learning he is related to the late George Floyd.
“It was difficult to start with, but now I can’t look at it," said James R. Floyd, a distant cousin of George Floyd. "This is something that should not have happened.”
In James Floyd’s 90 years, he has seen and endured a lot.
“I was in the Korean War and also the Vietnam," said James. "So I’ve fought two wars, put 30 years in, and I didn’t feel like this when I was in a combat zone: afraid.”
James said he has known that hate is always present, but not to this extent.
“I spent half my life as a second-class citizen, more or less. Even in uniform," said James. "Going in and out of back doors, not being able to eat in restaurants and so forth. I could tolerate that. But the violence, this is just more than I can take.”
James said getting the call that George Floyd was his family was overwhelming.
“Frankly, I was devastated,” said James.
James said he had been feeling bad, but since Sunday’s peaceful protest at Lawton City Hall, he is feeling much better.
“It was like a load off my shoulders when I drove out of that parking lot on the way home," said James. "That hey, there are some people out here that care.”
Despite the violence happening across the country, James said he feels change is coming.
“So, I look at it and I said, hey, look, if change is going to come as a result of his death, then maybe his life wasn’t in vain."