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George Floyd’s brother testifies before Congress: ‘Stop the pain’

Philonise Floyd(R), the brother of George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police officers on May 25, 2020 arrives at the US Capitol to testify at “Oversight Hearing on Policing Practices and Law Enforcement Accountability” in Washington, DC, on June 10, 2020.

Olivier Douliery | AFP | Getty Images

Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, implored lawmakers Wednesday to act so that his brother’s death after being brought into police custody was “not in vain.”

“I’m tired. I’m tired of the pain I’m feeling now and I’m tired of the pain I feel every time another black person is killed for no reason,” Floyd said in prepared remarks. He was slated to speak in person at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on police brutality and racial profiling. 

“I’m here today to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain. Stop us from being tired,” Floyd said. 

“George’s calls for help were ignored,” he continued. “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.”

The hearing comes as the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was in the custody of Minneapolis police, has prompted a new national dialogue police reform. Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck to restrain him for nearly nine minutes, has been charged with Floyd’s murder. Three other former cops have been charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.

The police had originally been called on Floyd on suspicion he had used a counterfeit bill.

“George wasn’t hurting anyone that day,”  his brother said.  “He didn’t deserve to die over twenty dollars. I’m asking you, is that what a black man’s life is worth? Twenty dollars? This is 2020. Enough is enough.”

On Monday, top congressional Democrats unveiled a bill to overhaul police practices. Proposals include the creation of a federal registry of police misconduct an end to the qualified immunity protections afforded police officers that makes it harder to prosecute violations of constitutional rights. It would also ban police use of chokeholds and carotid restraints.

“Honor George,” said his brother, “and make the necessary changes that make law enforcement the solution – and not the problem.”

He added: “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.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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