“Make It Stop”: George Floyd’s Brother Implores Congress For Police Reform
“I am asking you, is that what a Black man is worth? Twenty dollars? This is 2020. Enough is enough.”
The brother of George Floyd testified on Wednesday before a Congressional committee on police brutality and implored its members to “make law enforcement the solution and not the problem.”
Philonise Floyd came to D.C. for the House Committee on the Judiciary hearing, the day after his brother’s funeral in Houston. George’s death on May 25 at the hands of Minneapolis police has ignited protests in cities around the world against police brutality. Some cities, including Minneapolis and New York, have moved toward defunding their departments.
“I couldn't take care of George that day he was killed, but maybe by speaking with you today, I could make sure that his death would not be in vain,” Floyd said. “To make sure that is more than another face on a t-shirt, more than another name on a list that won’t stop growing.”
Floyd spoke of his experience watching the video of his brother’s death: “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 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."
Floyd spoke about the protesters who are demanding justice for the Black Americans who have died at the hands of police and asked Congress to heed their calls.
"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,” Floyd said.
He continued: “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."
He added: “I am asking you, is that what a Black man is worth? Twenty dollars? This is 2020. Enough is enough.”
The hearing came after Democratic lawmakers, including prominent members of the Black Congressional Caucus, on Monday introduced a sweeping police reform bill, which includes measures such as a federal ban on chokeholds, modifying “qualified immunity” for officers, and creating a National Police Misconduct Registry.