George Floyd's brother asks congress to 'stop the pain'

10 June 2020, 22:06

Philonise Floyd testified in front of congress
Philonise Floyd testified in front of congress. Picture: Getty

By Maddie Goodfellow

The brother of George Floyd has urged lawmakers to 'stop the pain' and make sure his brother 'did not die in vain'.

Philonise Floyd addressed the house judiciary committee on Wednesday, the day after his late brother was laid to rest in Houston, Texas.

George Floyd was killed after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds in Minneapolis on 25 May.

His death has sparked protest around the world, including in the US and UK.

Mr Floyd was unarmed and had been arrested for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 note in a shop.

Referencing this, Philonise Floyd told the committee: "George wasn't hurting anyone that day. He didn't deserve to die over $20. I am asking you, is that what a black man's life is worth? $20? This is 2020. Enough is enough."

Philonise Floyd became emotional during the hearing
Philonise Floyd became emotional during the hearing. Picture: PA

The 46-year-old's brother also said: "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.

"I'm here today to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain. Stop us from being tired.

"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."

He continued: "It is on you to make sure his death isn't in vain."

Mr Floyd said he decided to testify on Wednesday because he’s “the big brother now.”

“It's my job to comfort my brothers and my sisters, his kids, and everyone who loved him.

"And that's a lot of people. I have to be the strong one now because George is gone.”

Philonise Floyd's mask showed a photo of his brother
Philonise Floyd's mask showed a photo of his brother. Picture: PA

Mr Floyd was speaking to a committee of 40 members at the hearing, which is looking into policing and law enforcement accountability.

The politicians are reviewing the Justice in Policing Act, a wide-ranging set of proposals amid a national debate on policing and racial inequality in the US.

The hearing follows George Floyd's emotional funeral on Tuesday.

Hundreds of family and friends gathered in Houston, Texas, for the funeral of George Floyd, whose death in US police custody sparked global outcry.

The 46-year-old’s body arrived at The Fountain of Praise Church in a gold-coloured casket, blocks away from where he grew up.

The private funeral, limited to 500 people to ensure social distancing, featured a series of prominent guests and religious leaders.

In a speech delivered by video link, former vice president and current Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden told the service: "When there is justice for George Floyd, we will truly be on our way to racial justice in America.”

Addressing Mr Floyd’s daughter, Gianna, he added: “And then—as you said, Gianna—your daddy will have changed the world."

Family members of other black people killed by US police, including Breonna Taylor, unarmed teenager Michael Brown and Eric Garner are also in attendance at the funeral.

Outside under a blazing Texas sun, hundreds of mourners gathered, some wearing T-shirts with Mr Floyd’s picture or the words “I Can’t Breathe” – his final plea.