‘Stop the pain’, George Floyd’s brother tells US Congress
The brother of the African American man whose death in police custody has sparked global protests, has urged the US Congress to pass reforms on police brutality and “stop the pain”.
Philonise Floyd told a House hearing that his brother George could not become “another name on a list”, the BBC reported.
“Be the leaders that this country, this world, needs,” Floyd said.
George Floyd died in Minneapolis in May as a white police officer held a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
The final moments were filmed on phones.
Lawmakers in the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee have been listening to testimony from civil rights activists and law enforcement officials, a day after the funeral service of George Floyd, 46, in Houston.
The committee plans to send a bill to the floor of the Democrat-led House by July 4 on combating police violence and racial injustice.
It comes amid a nationwide – and in many cases international – debate on police practices and accountability, and more generally on racial inequity.
“I’m here to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain,” an emotional Philonise Floyd, 42, told lawmakers. “George called for help and he was ignored. Please listen to the call I’m making to you now, to the calls of our family and the calls ringing on the streets of all the world.
“The people marching in the streets are telling you enough is enough.”
In tears, Floyd later added: “His kids had to watch that video. It just hurt… you don’t do that to a human being… His life mattered. All our lives matter. Black lives matter. I just wish I could get him back. Those officers, they get to live.”
Democrat committee chairman Jerrold Nadler said: “We must remember that [George Floyd] is not just a cause, a name to be chanted in the streets. He was a man. He had a family… we mourn his loss.”
The Democrat-proposed bill would make so-called police chokeholds illegal, enforce anti-racism training, bar sacked officers from switching to another force and make it easier to prosecute abuse.
Republican committee representative Matt Gaetz said that although elements needed to be “fine-tuned”, “you will be able to count on Republican co-operation as we hone these ideas and hopefully pass them and get them to the president’s desk”.
A spokesperson for Mr Trump said on Wednesday that the president would have “proactive policy prescriptions, whether that means legislation or an executive order”.
As the House hearing was taking place, the police chief in Minneapolis said that his department “absolutely” could be reformed and vowed not to let George Floyd’s death be in vain.
Medaria Arradondo said one reform would be to introduce a new early warning system to identify the conduct of police officers.
On Sunday, a majority of the city council’s members vowed to disband the police department and replace it with a new model of public safety.
“Defund the police” has been a rallying call for many protesters nationwide. It has been opposed by both President Trump and his Democratic challenger in November’s election, Joe Biden.