The event was hosted by Ericka and William Platt of Restaurant Ten and their longtime friend Stephen Jackson. Jackson, a former NBA star, was Floyd’s best friend and has become a father figure to Gianna. He created an organization Love to all who have love for all, and has since been joined in the organization by the Platts, to support kids who have lost their parents to racial violence through acts of service. This includes birthday bashes such as the one for Gianna.
This was Gianna’s first birthday without her father since his tragic murder in Minneapolis on May 25.
“This is a very difficult time for my daughter so we’re very grateful that our extended family is creating such a special experience for Gianna on her first birthday without her father,” Washington said in a press release. She and Gianna live in Houston, Floyd’s hometown city.
At the Pink Hotel with help from Glitz of Atlanta, Gianna was pampered with mani-pedis, danced the night away with friends, and had a huge smile on her face throughout the event.
“During the holidays and on occasions like birthdays, the loss that kids suffer is magnified and the process of grief is unimaginably difficult. We want to offset those moments of pain with happiness on Gianna’s special day,” said Ericka Platt, who pointed out that support also came from Chef Lori of Restaurant Ten in Atlanta and Signature One Transportation.
Jackson, who has been a father figure to Gianna since Floyd’s death, shared several pictures on his Instagram Story following the birthday party.
“I think I adopted another child, God put me into this position,” he said in a statement. “I’m going to do the best that I can.”
Floyd was murdered on May 25, 2020, after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes as he kept telling him “I can’t breathe,” and called out to his dead mother for help.
Officers Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng were at the scene and didn’t intervene. Both Lane and Keung also aided in pinning Floyd down while he was in handcuffs.
The event sparked nationwide outrage and protests.
In June, Jackson, co-host of the podcast “All The Smoke,” attended a protest with Gianna.
“Daddy changed the world!” Gianna shouted in a clip Jackson posted to Instagram.