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George Floyd's death sparks conversation for Lafayette family

George Floyd's death sparks conversation for Lafayette family
Posted at 10:59 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 00:07:47-04

"Just having the discussion is a lifelong thing for us. Because if we look at the pattern, and the track record of what happened a few days ago, we know that it already existed. This is something that wasn't new," said Damon Flugence.

George Floyd's death is sparking intimate conversations in households across the country including here in Acadiana.

For many families, those conversations are deeply personal and at times uncomfortable.

For the Flugence family they're concerned about the state of the country.

Damon and Shytishia Flugence are parents of three children, a 21-year-old student athlete at Loyola University in New Orleans, 12-year-old in middle school, and a 7-year-old daughter.

"They still affect us overall so you know having boys, girls, with a loving wife it makes you want to cherish every minute you get with them because it could just be a casual walk to a store that can change your whole life," said Damon Flugence.

Semaj and Semar say while watching the grueling video of Floyd's death, they couldn't help but put themselves in the situation.

"I was shocked to a certain extent because that could be me, one of my close friends or one of my teammates and it was just normal traffic stop from what I understand and it's kind of scary," said Semaj Flugence.

"It's horrible to watch and see how people we treat you over your race and how people will look at you just because of your skin color," said Semar Flugence.

"We try to talk to them, we try to help them navigate through the world. We can't think for them, so we have to give them the tools necessary to think for themselves," said Shytishia Flugence.

Those tools including what to do if they're ever stopped by police.

"Keep your hands on the wheel, if the officer is approaching, look him directly in the eye, if you're gonna do anything, say what you're gonna do first and just do whatever necessary to not to escalate the situation," said Shytishia Flugence.

When discussing the protests and riots that are happening throughout the country, Damon believes both methods are important to evoke change.

"Whether it's the Malcolm style or the Martin style, it's needed because it pushes the dialog and the discussion that we're having today and hopefully we continue to have that discussion because we have a lot of beautiful minds and beautiful people in the world that's built for this," said Damon Flugence.

For the family the discussion will continue once George Floyd's death is not in the headlines.

"When we get through the news cycle, we need to figure out a way to continue pushing the dialog and maybe get people that's in place to help us with passing laws," said Damon Flugence.

All four Minneapolis officers involved in the death of George Floyd nine days ago are now facing charges.

Derek Chauvin's charge has been upgraded to second-degree murder and the three others are charged with aiding and abetting murder.
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