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Standing by the ramp George Floyd built for their wheelchair-bound mum, his sister LaTonya looks at her childhood home and remembers the laughter that filled their front yard, the place where she taught her brother how to dunk a basketball.

No one was closer to George – also known as Perry – than LaTonya, and she cannot bring herself to watch the film of his death under the knee of police officer Derek Chauvin that shocked the world.

Instead, every day since George, 46, was killed on May 25, she has watched a birthday video he once sent her.

In it, George tells her: “To my blood family, my sister, my big sister. The other people don’t mean s***. Happy birthday. I love you with everything I’ve got.”

LaTonya, 52, says: “I have never seen the film of him dying, nor do I ever want to. It would break me down mentally, and I would not be able to cope.

“The one I cherish most is the video message. It will be forever with me.”

As we stroll through the streets where she and George grew up, childhood friends approach us, asking if she is OK. She says: “Growing up we were inseparable. I’d drag him around like a blanket.”

They had a sister Zsa Zsa but, LaTonya says: “She wasn’t like me. I was a real tomboy. So, when George was born, I was so happy. We became like two peas in a pod. We’d do everything together, even running away.

“We wouldn’t get far, sometimes to only the end of the block before we’d get hungry and decide to go home. Before the age of 10, I was a little bigger, but he went on to get the nickname Big Perry.

“Perry was his middle name, but the family and neighborhood all knew him by that.” It was only when he died that the world came to know him as George.

George was born in 1973. When their parents split up, mom Larcenia moved from Fayetteville, North Carolina, with the children to start a new life in Houston, Texas.

The family moved to one of Houston’s poorest neighborhoods, Cuney Homes, a public housing complex of more than 500 apartments in the city’s

predominately black Third Ward.

Larcenia, or Miss Sissy as she was known, became an active member of the Cuney Homes resident council, and also raised some of her neighbors’ children while working at Guidry’s burger stand.

George, who called out for his mother as he lay dying, had a tattoo of her name.

They died two years and one week apart.

“We didn’t have much, but we had a happy childhood, and we had each other,” says LaTonya as she stands by a mural of her brother in the street where they once played.

She says: “We used to play basketball and football together for hours. I taught him how to slam-dunk when he was 13. There was no looking back after then. As he grew and grew, it wasn’t long before it was me, he was knocking out.

“Despite his size and presence, Perry was nothing but gentle. The kindest of souls. Not just to me, to everyone. As he grew into a young teenager, I went from being his protector to him being mine.”

George played football and basketball for Jake Yates High School, then for two years he played basketball at a Florida community college.

In 1995, he spent one year at Texas A&M University before returning to his mother’s home in Houston to find jobs in construction and security. His next 10 years were troubled. George was arrested many times, once for a $10 (£7.85) drug deal in 2004, which landed him in jail for 10 months.

Often, he was detained during large police sweeps on Cuney Homes, known as the Bricks, when dozens of men were picked up at the same time.

In 2009, he admitted aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to five years in prison. He was paroled in January 2013.

After breaking up with the mother of his children, George left Houston in 2017 to move to Minneapolis.

LaTonya said: “He settled in very quickly. He hadn’t been as happy for a long time. He was loving life. You could hear it in his voice.

“It was tough being away from each other, but I was happy for him.” But that happiness was to be short-lived.

On May 26, LaTonya and their sister Zsa Zsa, 53, received a call from a cousin, telling them of George’s death, which had been filmed by passers-by.

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