George Floyd's Brother, Philonise Floyd, Asked Congress to 'Stop the Pain'

Emily Dixon
Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images

From Men's Health

  • George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, spoke before the House Judiciary Committee in Washington Wednesday, calling on lawmakers to enact police reform and accountability.

  • Philonise spoke about his older brother's murder by white police officer Derek Chauvin. "I can’t tell you the kind of pain you feel when you watch something like that," he said. "I’m tired of the pain I’m feeling now, and I’m tired of the pain I feel every time another Black person is killed for no reason. I’m here today to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain. Stop us from being tired."

  • "George wasn’t hurting anyone that day," he said. "He didn’t deserve to die over $20. I am asking you, is that what a Black man is worth? $20?"

George Floyd's younger brother, Philonise Floyd, spoke before the House Judiciary Committee in Washington Wednesday, sharing his agony at his brother's murder by white police officer Derek Chauvin and calling on lawmakers to enact police reform and accountability. Philonise addressed Congress just hours after George was buried in Houston, as the Guardian reports, speaking of his desire to ensure his brother would be "more than another face on a t-shirt. More than another name on a list that won’t stop growing." He remembered George as a "gentle giant" who "gave the little that he had to help others."

Speaking about the video of George's murder, Philonise said, "I can’t tell you the kind of pain you feel when you watch something like that." He continued, "I’m tired. I’m tired of the pain I’m feeling now, and I’m tired of the pain I feel every time another Black person is killed for no reason. I’m here today to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain. Stop us from being tired."



"George called for help and he was ignored. Please listen to the calls I’m making to you now. To the calls of our family and the calls ringing out in the streets across the world. People of all backgrounds, genders and races have come together to demand change," Philonise said. "Honor them, honor George, and make the necessary changes that make law enforcement the solution—and not the problem. Hold them accountable when they do something wrong. Teach them what it means to treat people with empathy and respect. Teach them what necessary force is. Teach them that deadly force should be used rarely and only when life is at risk."

"George wasn’t hurting anyone that day. He didn’t deserve to die over $20. I am asking you, is that what a Black man is worth? $20?" he said. "This is 2020. Enough is enough. The people marching in the streets are telling you enough is enough. By the leaders—that our country, the world needs the right thing."


Read Philonise Floyd's full testimony, as reported by the Guardian, below:

Chairman Jerrold Nadler and members of the committee,

Thank you for the invitation to be here today to talk about my big brother, George. The world knows him as George, but I called him Perry. Yesterday, we laid him to rest. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I’m the big brother now. So it’s my job to comfort my brothers and sisters, Perry’s kids, and everyone who loved him. And that’s a lot of people. I have to be the strong one now, because George is gone.

And me being the big brother now is why I’m here today. To do what Perry always would have done—to take care of the family and others. I couldn’t take care of George the day he was killed, but maybe by speaking with you today, I can make sure that his death would not be in vain. To make sure that he is more than another face on a t-shirt. More than another name on a list that won’t stop growing.

George always made sacrifices for our family. And he made sacrifices for complete strangers. He gave the little that he had to help others. He was our gentle giant. I was reminded of that when I watched the video of his murder. He called all of the officers "sir." He was mild mannered; he didn’t fight back. He listened to all the officers. The men who took his life, who suffocated him for eight minutes and 46 seconds—he still called them "sir" as he begged for his life.

I can’t tell you the kind of pain you feel when you watch something like that. When you watch your big brother, who you’ve looked up to your whole entire life, die? Die begging for his mom?

I’m tired. I’m tired of the pain I’m feeling now, and I’m tired of the pain I feel every time another Black person is killed for no reason. I’m here today to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain. Stop us from being tired.

George called for help and he was ignored. Please listen to the calls I’m making to you now. To the calls of our family and the calls ringing out in the streets across the world. People of all backgrounds, genders, and races have come together to demand change. Honor them, honor George, and make the necessary changes that make law enforcement the solution, and not the problem. Hold them accountable when they do something wrong. Teach them what it means to treat people with empathy and respect. Teach them what necessary force is. Teach them that deadly force should be used rarely and only when life is at risk.

George wasn’t hurting anyone that day. He didn’t deserve to die over $20. I am asking you, is that what a Black man is worth? $20? This is 2020. Enough is enough. The people marching in the streets are telling you enough is enough. Be the leaders that this country, this world needs. Do the right thing.

The people elected you to speak for them, to make positive change. George’s name means something. You have the opportunity here today to make your names mean something, too.

If his death ends up changing the world for the better, and I think it will, then he died as he lived. It is on you to make sure his death is not in vain. I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to Perry while he was here. I was robbed of that.

But I know he’s looking down on us now. Perry, look at what you did, big brother. You changed the world. Thank you for everything. For taking care of us when on Earth, for taking care of us now. I hope you found mama and you can rest in peace and power. Thank you.

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