George Floyd’s Brother Emotional Speech To Change Policing Laws
Washington(CNN) George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, told House lawmakers on Wednesday that his brother “didn’t deserve to die over $20,” and called for police accountability and reform, saying, “make the necessary changes to make law enforcement the solution and not the problem.”
On Wednesday, Philonise Floyd appeared before the House Judiciary Committee for an oversight hearing on policing and law enforcement accountability. The demand is sparked from many unjust deaths caused by the handling of police interference, including his brother George Floyd who was killed in Minneapolis police custody. The mark of his death sparked a national outcry along with sustained protests and civil unrest over the issue of police misconduct and racial injustice, as well as calls for Congress to act.
In the wake of national protests and unrest, House and Senate Democrats have unveiled sweeping police reform legislation, while Senate Republicans are also now working to craft their own reform proposal.
CNN states, it remains unclear, however, whether there will be enough bipartisan support for anything to pass through both chambers of Congress. The path to any kind of bipartisan compromise is expected to be difficult as well with congressional Republicans already sounding skeptical of a number of proposals that Democrats are pushing.
During his testimony, Philonise Floyd referenced the mass protests unfolding across the United States and urged policing reform and accountability.
“George called for help and he was ignored. Please listen to the call I’m making to you now. To the calls of our family and the calls ringing out in the streets across the world,” he said.
“Honor them, honor George, and make the necessary changes to make law enforcement the solution and not the problem. Hold them accountable when they do something wrong, teach them what it means to treat people with empathy and respect. Teach them what necessary force is. Teach them that deadly force should be used rarely and only when life is at risk. George wasn’t hurting anyone that day. He didn’t deserve to die over $20.”
George Floyd’s brother talked about how caring and compassionate George was. He voiced the deep pain him and his family will endure due to police brutality.
“George always made sacrifices for his family. And he made sacrifices for complete strangers. He gave the little that he had to help others. He was our gentle giant,” he said. “I was reminded of that when I watched the video of his murder. He called all the officers ‘sir.’ He was mild mannered, he didn’t fight back. He listened to all the officers. The men who took his life, who suffocated him for eight minutes and 46 seconds. He still called them ‘sir’ as he begged for his life.”
As many have compared Floyd’s death to “modern-day lynching,” George Floyd’s brother reminded House lawmakers of the comparison.
“They lynched my brother. That was a modern-day lynching in broad daylight. I can’t tell you the kind of pain you feel when you watch something like that.”
His voice rising, he said, “I’m tired. I’m tired of pain, the pain you feel when you watch something like that. When you watch your big brother who you looked up to for your whole entire life die, die begging for his mom. I’m here to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain. Stop us from being tired.”
House Democrats are now aiming to bring their policing reform package to the House floor for a vote during the week of June 22.
According to reports, The Democratic package — put together by the Congressional Black Caucus, House Judiciary Committee Democrats and Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey — would ban chokeholds, create a National Police Misconduct Registry, incentivize state and local governments to conduct racial bias training for officers, and set restrictions on the transfer of military-grade equipment to local law enforcement entities, among other provisions.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, a Democrat from New York, spoke in support of the legislation during the hearing, saying that it would “take a holistic approach that includes a variety of front-end reforms to change the culture of law enforcement, while also holding bad police officers accountable to separate them from those with a true ethic to protect and serve.”