The sentencing of former police officer Derek Chauvin on Friday began with a heartbreaking surprise guest: George Floyd's 7-year-old daughter Gianna talking about how she misses her daddy.
"I ask about him all the time,” said Gianna in a victim impact statement delivered to the Minneapolis court via video testimony. “I want to play with him."
Chauvin was found guilty in April on all three charges of murder and manslaughter, after he pressed his knee into Floyd's neck until he stopped breathing and died. On Friday he was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison.
The sentencing is the first time that Gianna, who had attended press conferences and visited the White House with her family, has spoken extensively in public about the loss of her father.
"I want to play with him, have fun, go on a plane ride,” said Gianna, wearing a striped bow-tie headband as she spoke over FaceTime.
She told the court how she used to have mints with her dad "every single night before we went to bed."
"My daddy always used to help me brush my teeth," said Gianna.
Floyd's murder, captured on video, sparked a worldwide protest movement against police brutality and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
"Daddy changed the world," said Gianna in a viral video shot last June, shortly after Floyd's death.
But on Friday, Gianna's comments reflected the horrors of a child having a murdered parent.
"I was asking, 'How did my dad get hurt?'" said Gianna in her testimony on Friday, later adding, "Those mean people did something to him.”
When asked what Gianna wanted to tell her dad, the little girl didn't hesitate for a moment.
“It would be, 'I miss you and I love you,'" she said.