George Floyd‘s family is speaking out after he was killed this week in another instance of police brutality. His sister is calling for charges of murder while his brother says the four officers involved deserve “life.”
Floyd died after pleading that he couldn’t breathe while he was pinned to the ground with an officer’s knee on his neck. The brutal video of the incident went viral and triggered memories of victims like Eric Garner who also died after telling cops that he couldn’t breathe.
Now, the family of Floyd is speaking out and they want the four Minneapolis cops involved to be charged with murder.
“They were supposed to be there to serve and to protect and I didn’t see a single one of them lift a finger to do anything to help while he was begging for his life. Not one of them tried to do anything to help him,” Tera Brown, Floyd’s cousin, told CNN’s Don Lemon.
Lemon spoke with Brown along with Floyd’s two brothers, who held up photos saying Floyd was a “gentle giant” and “didn’t hurt anybody.”
“Knowing my brother is to love my brother,” Philonise Floyd explained. “They could have tased him; they could have maced him. Instead, they put their knee in his neck and just sat on him and then carried on. They treated him worse than they treat animals.”
“They took a life now they deserve life,” Philonise added.
The four cops involved with Floyd’s death were fired on Tuesday, according to the police department, and now the case is being investigated by state and federal authorities including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Minneapolis police say officers were responding to an alleged forgery on Monday evening and were told someone later described as the suspect was sitting on a car. The officers confronted Floyd, who was inside the vehicle at that point, and the cops said he “physically resisted” after he got out the car. However, video of the moment Floyd was taken out of his car by the police shows that he didn’t seem to initially resist as reported. Journalist Alex Lehnert tweeted the video.
Floyd was handcuffed while pinned to the pavement. Cops said he “appeared to be suffering medical distress,” most likely from the knee to his neck and his plea that he couldn’t breathe and he was experiencing body hurt. Floyd was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the police.
Video captured by bystanders shows two cops were keeping Floyd to the ground while another cop stood closeby to watch bystanders as traffic passed.
A separate video obtained from a nearby restaurant surveillance camera showed the first point of contact cops had with Floyd. One of the officers escorts a handcuffed Floyd out of the vehicle and Floyd sits on the sidewalk. Not too long after, the officer and another one escort Floyd away, still with his hands behind his back.
George’s brother Rodney Floyd said that he didn’t believe George was resisting arrest. “You have eyes. I have eyes. You can see what you saw,” Rodney Floyd explained in an interview with “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday. “And I saw, and the nation saw… and every black person saw, the same thing, because it don’t happen to nobody else.”
“They need to be charged with murder because what they did was murder,” Brown said of the officers. “And almost the whole world has witnessed that because somebody was gracious enough to record it.”
Floyd’s sister Bridgett Floyd echoed similar sentiments on the “Today” show. “I would like for those officers to be charged with murder because that’s exactly what they did. They murdered my brother,” she emotionally explained. “He was crying for help. I don’t need them to be suspended and able to work in another state or another county. Their license should be taken away, their job should be taken away, and they should be put in jail for murder.”
A day after Floyd’s death, hundreds began protesting and marching in Minneapolis, starting at the intersection where Floyd was pinned to the ground. Their final destination was the police precinct. Many protesters were met with tear gas and rubber bullets from the police.
Still, cries of “No justice, no peace” and “I can’t breathe” continued to be heard in places like Minneapolis and Chicago with more protests sure to pop around the country.