George Floyd’s Brother Urges Congress To Back Cause Of Police Reform

Philonise Floyd wants lawmakers to act so that his brother will not have died in vain.

A day after an emotional funeral for George Floyd in his hometown of Houston, his brother Philonise Floyd testified in front of Congress on Wednesday (June 10) about police accountability and violence by law enforcement in the African-American community.

Reading a prepared statement to a House judiciary committee hearing on racial injustice, Floyd described what his family has experienced since his older brother died as Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

"I can’t tell you the kind of pain you feel when you watch something like that. When you watch your big brother, who you’ve looked up to your whole life, die. Die begging for your mom," Floyd said to lawmakers. “George’s calls for help were ignored. Please listen to the call I’m making to you now, to the calls of our family, and to the calls ringing out in the streets across the world. 

“People of all backgrounds, genders and race have come together to demand change,” he continued. “Honor them, honor George, and make the necessary changes that make law enforcement the solution – and not the problem.”

When asked by Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, why Chauvin would have held his knee on his brother's neck, Floyd said he felt it was "personal."
"I don't really know why he did it, but personally I think it was personal," he said. "Because they worked at the same place so for him to do something like that it had to be premeditated and he wanted to do that," he said.
RELATED: Former Nightclub Worker Says George Floyd and Derek Chauvin Had Beef At Work

Philonise Floyd was one of a dozen people testifying on Capitol Hill about police accountability and reform. Through the proposed Justice in Policing Act,  House Democrats are preparing to dissect police practices in order to create better relations and reduce incidents like the one that took his brother’s life. The bill would overhaul how police officers interact with communities, limit the number of legal protections police get, create a nationwide database of police violence incidents, and ban chokeholds.

"The world is witnessing the birth of a new movement in this country," said Democratic New York  Rep. Karen Bass, a co-author of the bill, during the hearing.

House Republicans have not yet thrown their support behind the Democratic bill, but Politico reports discussions have begun among GOP legislators on their own police reform bill. 

"He didn't deserve to die over $20,” an emotional Floyd said. “I am asking you, is that what a Black man's life is worth? $20? This is 2020. Enough is enough ... Be the leaders that this country, this world, needs. Do the right thing."

BET has been covering every angle of George Floyd’s death in police custody, other social justice cases and the subsequent aftermath and protests. For our continuing coverage, click here.

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