Oprah Winfrey Says George Floyd Won't "Just Be a Hashtag"

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Oprah Winfrey

"His family and friends say he was a gentle giant," she wrote. "His death has now shown us he has a giant soul."

Oprah Winfrey on Friday broke her silence about the killing of George Floyd, assuring his death would not be in vain. 

In a statement posted to social media, which included an illustration of Floyd, Winfrey said she has not said anything until this moment about the events that transpired Monday in Minnesota because she was having a hard time processing what she saw: a black man, held down by police officers as one white officer knelt on his neck. Floyd would die from his injuries. The officer who kneeled on Floyd was arrested and charged with murder shortly before Winfrey tweeted her statement. 

"It's there with me every morning when I rise and when I go through the ordinary duties of the day," she said of the knee on Floyd's neck. "I think: he doesn't get to do this." 

New video which shows Floyd being held down by other officers furthered her devastation, Winfrey said. Those officers will all likely face charges, authorities said Friday. 

"His family and friends say he was a gentle giant," she wrote. "His death has now shown us he has a giant soul." 

She concluded," "#GeorgeFloyd, we speak your name. But this time, we will not let your name be just a hashtag. Your spirit is lifted by the cries of all of us who call for justice in your name."