Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, urges Congress to pass legislation to prevent more deaths caused by police violence.
At a hearing in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Philonise delivered a moving speech to the House Judiciary Committee honoring his brother, who died last month after his neck was pinned to the ground by white police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee.
“The world knows him as George, but I called him Perry. Yesterday, we laid him to rest,” Philonise said about George’s funeral held in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I’m the big brother now. So it’s my job to comfort our brothers and sisters, Perry’s kids, and everyone who loved him. And that’s a lot of people.”
“I couldn’t take care of George that day he was killed, but maybe by speaking with you today, I can help make sure that his death would not be in vain. To make sure that he is more than another face on a T-shirt, more than another name on a list that won’t stop growing,” Philonise continued.
In his address, Philonise reacts to the heartbreaking video in which George asks for his mother as Chauvin continues to pin him down.
“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 entire life, die, die begging for his mom,” Philonise exclaimed. “I’m tired. I’m tired of pain. Pain you feel when you watch something like that. When you watch your big brother, who you looked up for your whole life, die begging for his mom. I’m here today to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain. Stop us from being tired.”
Philonise also discussed the allegation that George attempted to pay for an item with a $20 bill, suspected to be counterfeit, prior to his arrest.
“George wasn’t hurting anyone that day. He didn’t deserve to die over 20 dollars. I am asking you, is that what a black man’s worth? Twenty dollars? This is 2020. Enough is enough,” he said.
“The people elected you to speak for them, to make positive change. George’s name means something. You have the opportunity here to make your names mean something, too,” Philonise told lawmakers.
Earlier this week, Congressional Democrats introduced the Justice in Policing Act, which, among many things, would ban chokeholds, create a national database to track police misconduct, and prohibit certain no-knock warrants.
Chauvin has since been arrested and has been charged with second degree murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter.
The three other officers involved in George’s death — Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng — have all been charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder and aiding and abetting second degree manslaughter.
Watch Philonise’s full speech, below: