Philonise Floyd and Rodney Floyd, brothers of George Floyd, led a virtual moment of silence during the opening night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday.
The death of the unarmed Black man at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers on May 25, kicked off a summer of global protests against racial violence and systemic injustice.
“My brother George was selfless,” Philonise Floyd said from the Floyd family home in Houston. Philonise Floyd sat alongside his brother, Rodney Floyd.
“He always made sacrifices for his family, friends, and even complete strangers. George had a giving spirit. A spirit that has shown up on the 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.”
Philonise Floyd continued remarking that his brother “should be alive today.” He also named other Black victims of police and vigilante violence.
“Breonna Taylor should be alive today. Ahmaud Arbery should be alive today. Eric Garner should be alive today. Stephon Clark or Atatiana Jefferson, Sandra Bland, they should all be alive today. So it’s up to us to carry on the fight for justice. Our actions will be their legacies.”
Floyd was killed after Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his back and neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. Chauvin continued to pin Floyd down despite his pleas and the pleas of the onlooking crowd. A bystander recorded and posted the encounter to social media.
After his killing, Joe Biden traveled to Houston and spoke to the family. A videotaped message from the former vice president played at his memorial service. President Donald Trump spoke to Floyd’s brothers in the days following his slaying, but later denounced the protests that followed.
“We must always find ourselves in what John Lewis called ‘good trouble,’” Philonise Floyd added. “For the names, we do not know, the faces we will never see, those who can’t mourn because their murders didn’t go viral. Please join me in a moment of silence to honor George and the many other souls we lost to hate and injustice, and when this moment ends, let’s make sure we never stop saying their names.”
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!