Philonise Floyd, the younger brother of George Floyd, testified to House lawmakers on Wednesday (June 10) about police accountability and reform in the wake of his brother’s death.
“The world knows him as George, but I called him Perry,” he said. “Yesterday, we laid him to rest. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I couldn't take care of George that day he was killed, but maybe by speaking with you today, I can make sure that his death will not be in vain.”
He continued, “He called all the officers ‘sir.’ He was mild mannered, he didn’t fight back. He listened to all the officers. The men who took his life, who suffocated him for eight minutes and 46 seconds. He still called them ‘sir’ as he begged for his life. I can’t tell you the kind of pain you feel when you watch something like that.”
In the viral video of Floyd’s final moments, you can hear him scream, “I can’t breathe,” as former officer Derek Chauvin kneels on his neck for almost nine minutes. Floyd also calls out to his mom, who passed away years earlier.
“I’m tired. I’m tired of pain, the pain you feel when you watch something like that,” Philonise continued. “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.”
“George called for help and he was ignored,” he said. “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.”
“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,” Floyd’s younger brother concluded.
Watch Philonise’s testimony below.