A demonstrator holds a sign depicting George Floyd during a protest outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota on March 28, 2021 (AFP / Kerem Yucel)

George Floyd not related to North Carolina shooting suspect

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Social media posts claim that a man arrested over a fatal shooting in North Carolina is the brother of George Floyd, whose May 2020 death in Minneapolis police custody sparked protests across the United States. This is false; relatives of Floyd and a memorial foundation say he was not related to the shooting suspect.

“Why isn’t this on the NEWS Channels? George Floyd’s younger brother, Dejywan Floyd, has been arrested in North Carolina for a ‘road rage’ shooting of a white couple, killing the mother of six sitting in the passenger seat,” says an April 11, 2021 Facebook post that includes photos of a Black man and a white woman.

Screenshot of a Facebook post taken on April 13, 2021

The claim -- which also appears on Facebook here and here -- comes as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is being tried on charges that he killed Floyd by kneeling on his neck.

Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests against racism and police brutality in the United States, as well as a series of inaccurate claims about him that have spread across the internet.

The claim about Dejywan Floyd -- the man arrested in North Carolina -- is one of the latest of these. But he is not related to George Floyd.

“This is not true! At all,” Bridgett Floyd, one of his siblings who now runs The George Floyd Memorial Foundation, told AFP by email.

She said she shares four siblings with George Floyd: Philonise, LaTonya, Terrence and Rodney.

Tedra McGee, the daughter of the Floyds’ cousin Shareeduh Tate, said by phone that she “hadn’t heard anything about this shooting with the person with the last name Floyd.”

“However, I do know for a fact that (George’s) only younger brothers are Philonise Floyd, Rodney Floyd, and Terrence Floyd,” she said.

A spokesperson for The George Floyd Memorial Foundation also confirmed that Dejywan Floyd is not related to George Floyd, and that “the family doesn’t know him.”

And Sheriff Burnis Wilkins of Robeson County, where Dejywan Floyd was apprehended, said by email that, “We have no information at all to confirm this is true at all. We have seen the rumor ourselves.”

According to the sheriff's department, Dejywan Floyd fatally shot Julie Eberly through the passenger door of her vehicle on the highway near Lumberton, North Carolina on March 25. He was arrested seven days later.

The photos in the social media posts appeared in an April 1 New York Post article about the incident.

Lumberton is located near Fayetteville, where George Floyd was born.

“The last name Floyd is very common in our county and surrounding area,” Wilkins said.