George Floyd’s brother leads viewers in moment of silence at Democratic convention
The family of George Floyd held a moment of silence, and former Vice President Joe Biden discussed race at a virtual roundtable Monday during the first night of the Democratic National Convention.
George Floyd’s brother called on Americans watching the Democratic National Convention to not only remember the names of his brother and the victims of other high-profile killings of Black people at the hands of police, but those who can’t be collectively mourned by the nation “because their murders didn’t go viral.”
“People of all races, all ages, all genders, all backgrounds peacefully protesting in the name of love and unity is a fitting legacy for our brother,” Philonise Floyd told viewers Monday night. “But George should be alive today.”
He then listed the names of other Black Americans killed by police: Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Eric Garner. Stephon Clark. Atatiana Jefferson. Sandra Bland.
In his solemn but emotionally charged segment, Floyd described his brother, who died after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck, as a selfless man with a generous spirit.
Floyd’s death sparked national protests that have lasted for months in some cities.
“We must always find ourselves in what John Lewis called ‘good trouble,’” Philonise Floyd said of the protests, borrowing a phrase often used by late Georgia Congressman John Lewis.
Those remarks came during an extended segment on the first night of the DNC that included reflections on racial injustice by everyday Americans and elected officials alike, along with a panel discussion on ending racism featuring presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden that included NAACP President Derrick Johnson and Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, a Black man who died in 2014 in New York’s Staten Island after a police officer put him in a prohibited chokehold.
Carr, whose son, like George Floyd, cried “I can’t breathe” in his final moments, pleaded with Americans not to lose interest in fighting for an end to police brutality.
“When my son was murdered, there was a big uprising,” she reminded viewers. “Then it settled down. We can’t settle down.”
She urged Biden to pass federal laws against police brutality if elected as well as to push for state and local policing reforms.
“I may be kidding myself, but I think people are ready” to end racism not just in policing but in every aspect of American life, Biden told the panel.
Near the end of the racism segment, Philonise Floyd asked viewers for a moment of silence.
“Let’s make sure we never stop saying their names,” he said when it was over.
Afterward, singer Leon Bridges came on to sing part of his song “Sweeter,” written after George Floyd’s death.
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