George Floyd Impact: Brother Philonise Floyd Wants Justice

The brother of George Floyd appeared on CNN on Sunday night, where he broke down in tears as he gave an interview to Don Lemon and asked the Minneapolis police chief to arrest three additional officers who were present at the time of Floyd’s death.

Wearing a T-shirt that read “We can’t breathe,” Philonise Floyd was asked what his thoughts are about the protests across the country.

“People just want justice,” he said. “They’re going to continue to march and protest, and if I ask everybody to do it peaceful — but they want justice, and that’s the reason they’re acting out like that. … Black folks have been getting killed for a long time now, years. … People are just tired right now. African Americans, they want to stand up for what’s right.”

George Floyd died last Monday while in police custody in Minneapolis. Officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He also was accused of ignoring another officer who expressed concerns about Floyd, who was African American, as he lay handcuffed on the ground, pleading that he could not breathe, and saying “Mama” and “please,” while Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes. Floyd had been arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit bill at a store.

Floyd’s death sparked protests over police killings of African Americans in Minneapolis, which then spread to cities across the U.S.

Philonise Floyd said: “Everything that’s happening right now, it’s not happening because of what they’re doing. People are jumping on them. People are killing them. African Americans, you have women and men both are dying right now. You can watch the video and it was nine minutes, the guy stayed on my brother’s neck. Executed him, murdered him. He couldn’t breathe. … A grown man [asking] for his mom. That’s not real. I need justice for that.”

Chauvin, who was fired along with three other officers who were at the scene, faces more than 12 years in prison if convicted of murder.

Three other officers also were present but have not been arrested: Tou Thao, who was videotaped watching as Chauvin continued to press on Floyd’s neck with his knee; J Alexander Kueng, one of the two first officers at the scene who helped pin Floyd down; Thomas K. Lane.

Philonise Floyd made a plea for the arrest and conviction of the other three police officers.

“They’re at home right now sleeping in their bed, relaxing. Chauvin’s in jail, he’s only one. The other three need to be in there. My brother — he’s in the morgue. That’s not right. I want justice now. He deserves that. He’s a gentle giant.”