Members of George Floyd’s family delivered an unexpected address during the opening night of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in an effort to both bring attention to the police violence that claimed their loved one as well as makes sure their names are remembered.
Floyd’s brother Philonise said George “should be alive today” before running down a list of the names of other victims of senseless police violence, including Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Stephon Clark, Sandra Bland and too many others.
“George was selfless. He always made sacrifices for his family, friends, and even complete strangers. George had a giving spirit,” Philonise Floyd added. “A spirit that has shown up on streets around our nation, and around the world—people of all races, all ages, all genders, all backgrounds—peacefully protesting in the name of love and unity.”
Citing John Lewis‘ mantra of making “good trouble,” Philonise Floyd said “it’s up to us to carry on the fight for justice. Our actions will be their legacies. We must always find ourselves in what John Lewis called ‘good trouble.’ For the names we do not know, the faces we will never see, those we can’t mourn because their murders didn’t go viral.”
Floyd’s brothers then asked for “a moment of silence to honor George and the many others we lost to hate and injustice. “And when this moment ends,” they continued, “let’s make sure we never stop saying their names.”
Floyd’s brothers were among the people who were not listed on the DNCs’ official schedule.
Floyd was killed by a police officer applying deadly pressure to the neck with his knee despite a gaggle of onlookers warning the cop he was killing the suspect being arrested over the nonviolent allegation of using a counterfeit $20 bill. The Memorial Day killing in Minneapolis was recorded on a horrific viral video for the world to see, seemingly prompting a racial reckoning in the U.S.
The high profile police killing has prompted lawmakers to reimagine policing in America, including launching efforts to defund police departments. Four Minneapolis police officers were fired and then arrested and charged with various degrees of murder for their roles in the very preventable killing of someone suspected of a nonviolent crime.