The brother of George Floyd, the black man killed by police in Minneapolis on Monday after an incident captured on video in which an officer knelt on his neck as he lay on the ground, has called for the death penalty for the police involved.
Philonese Floyd sobbed on Thursday morning as he described the pain his family was experiencing and an urgent need for justice. The four officers involved in the arrest of George Floyd, 46, on Monday have been fired, and prosecutors are investigating.
“These officers, they need to be arrested right now, the people want justice right now … they need to be convicted and get the death penalty,” Philonese Floyd said in an interview with CNN.
He said the family of George Floyd could meet with the prosecutor on the case as early as today, and have been in touch with the prosecutor’s office and the Minneapolis mayor.
“Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?” the mayor, Jacob Frey, asked on Wednesday.
The city also released the names of the officers. The police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck was identified as Derek Chauvin. The other officers were Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng.
Fierce protests erupted in Minneapolis for a second night on Wednesday, and one man ended up shot dead by a member of the public, with a suspect now in custody.
Philonese Floyd said on Thursday that he had watched the video, taken by a witness, of his brother being forcibly held down on the ground while handcuffed by the police, after they attempted to arrest him on suspicion of using a counterfeit bill in a store on Monday.
“He could not breathe, and no one cares,” Floyd said on Thursday.
He broke down crying after saying: “My family will never see him again, his kids will never see him again.”
He later said: “It was hard, but I had to watch the video and as I watched, these four officers they executed my brother. And the paramedics, they dragged him across the ground without administering CPR, they showed him no empathy, no humanity.”
Philonese Floyd said protesters should be mindful of any small numbers of instigators of violence who infiltrate demonstrations and “try to make a riot”.
“I want things to be peaceful,” he said.
Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, who is representing the family, added on Thursday that he hoped it would not be long before charges are brought against the officers.