The brother of George Floyd, whose killing by police sparked worldwide protests against racism, told the US Congress on Wednesday to “stop the pain” and pass reforms that reduce police brutality.
Philonise Floyd’s appearance before a House of Representatives hearing came a day after funeral services for his older brother, the 46-year-old African American whose death has become a worldwide symbol in demonstrations calling for changes to police practices and an end to racial prejudice.
“They lynched my brother. That was a modern-day lynching in broad daylight,” Philonise Floyd, 42, a resident of Missouri City, Texas, told the committee, his voice breaking with emotion.
“You don’t even do that to an animal. His life mattered. All our lives matter. Black lives matter,” he added, wiping away tears.
“I can’t tell you the kind of pain you feel when you watch … your big brother, who you looked up to your whole entire life, die – die begging for his mom,” he said.
The testimony came two days after congressional Democrats unveiled a package of sweeping reforms aimed at reducing systemic racism in US law enforcement.
Lawmakers also heard testimony from civil rights and law enforcement leaders as Congress considers changes to police practices and accountability after Floyd’s death in police custody.
Floyd’s death was the latest in a series of killings of African-Americans by police that have sparked anger on America’s streets and fresh calls for reforms.
It is unclear whether Democrats and Republicans will be able to overcome partisan differences to pass legislation that President Donald Trump would be willing to sign.
The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee held the first congressional hearing to examine racial injustice and police brutality following George Floyd’s May 25 death after a white Minneapolis policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Police officer Derek Chauvin was fired after the incident and charged with second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter. George Floyd and Chauvin worked as security personnel at the same nightclub.
Philonise Floyd said Chauvin knew his brother and killed him with premeditation “just because he didn’t like him,” adding that “it has to have something to do with racism.”