The Houston, Texas community paid its last respects to the late George Floyd, who grew up in the southern city, on Monday (June 8) at his final public viewing before his private funeral tomorrow (June 9). Exactly two weeks since Floyd was tragically killed after now-former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him down to the ground with a knee to the neck; friends, family and other mourners shared their closing farewells. Hundreds attended, and many wore masks and shirts that read, “I can’t breathe.”
Now, Floyd’s relatives, along with other family members of Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Philando Castile are coming together to call for change in the American society in regards to racism and police brutality in a new letter to the United Nation Human Rights Console.
These families are now demanding the U.N. to issue a probe into racist policing, as well as police officers’ violent and often fatal suppression. The relatives include “Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd and son Quincy Masond; Taylor’s mother Tamika Palmer; Castile’s mother Valerie Castile, and Brown’s mother Lezley McSpadden,” according to Common Dreams.
Since Floyd’s killing — even after a number of Black men, women and children in America were killed unjustly — people have been taking to the streets to call for an end to social injustice and racism in law enforcement. Led by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the U.S. Human Rights Network, these families’ new letter is endorsed by over 600 rights groups, which include Black Lives Matter, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the NAACP and more.
“Mamie Till Mobley made a decision to open the casket of her son Emmett Till so the world could see the atrocities black people faced in America,” Philonise Floyd said in a statement. “I want people across the world and the leaders in the United Nations to see the video of my brother George Floyd, to listen to his cry for help, and I want them to answer his cry. I appeal to the United Nations to help him. Help me. Help us. Help black men and women in America.”
“The George Floyd family appeals to the United Nations to intervene in his murder,” said the families’ attorney, Ben Crump. He added that America has a “pattern and practice of condoning the torture and extrajudicial killing of African Americans” and “we have exhausted our domestic legal remedies on prior countless occasions to no avail.”
“Now, even though the murder of black people is consistently captured on camera,” Crump continued, “we have yet to capture the minds and hearts of legislatures and jurors, and we have yet to capture the justice and equality promised in our Constitution and inherent in our human rights.”
Common Dreams reports: “The letter urges the HRC to urgently convene a special session to address ‘the unfolding grave human rights crisis borne out of the repression of nationwide protests’ that erupted after the May 25 police killing of Floyd in Minneapolis, ‘which was only one of a recent string of unlawful killings of unarmed black people by police and armed white vigilantes.’”
You can read their joint statement here.