Story at a glance
- Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, spoke at the U.N. Human Rights Council meeting.
- He called for an investigation into U.S. police departments following his brother’s death in police custody.
Philonise Floyd, the brother of the late George Floyd, whose death has catalyzed civil rights protests everywhere from Los Angeles to Berlin, called on the top U.N. human rights oversight body to probe into racism and police brutality in the U.S.
Reuters reports that Floyd addressed the Geneva panel via video chat, saying “The way you saw my brother tortured and murdered on camera is the way black people are treated by police in America.” His brother, George, an unarmed black man, died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes while being arrested for a nonviolent offense.
His death, along with those of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, two other black Americans, has revitalized the Black Lives Matter movement, bringing an unprecedented amount of demonstrators to protests, which has given way to clashes between demonstrators and police.
BREAKING NEWS ABOUT THE GEORGE FLOYD CASE
“I hope that you will consider establishing an independent commission of inquiry to investigate police killings of black people in America, and the violence used against peaceful protesters,” Philonise Floyd told the U.N.’s Human Rights Council on Wednesday. “You in the United Nations are your brothers’ and sisters’ keepers in America, and you have the power to help us get justice for my brother George Floyd.”
The Human Rights Council (HRC) was convened at the request of African countries, whose officials are raising awareness of institutional racism and the systemic violence and discrimination it breeds. Ambassador Leopold Ismael Samba, of the Central African Republic, urged all governments to take action against police brutality.
Reuters also notes that activists said U.S. officials lobbied African government officials to revise the draft of their proposal to exclude the U.S. from being specifically named. The U.S. quit the council two years ago and does not attend meetings.
The text currently requests that the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, “establish the facts and circumstances relating to systemic racism” and practices of excessive force.
The proposal requests the panel reconvene to discuss the results in a year.
Bachelet recommended an investigation into excessive use of force.
“Black lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. The lives of people of colour matter. All human beings are born equal in dignity and rights,” she said.
READ MORE ABOUT THE GEORGE FLOYD PROTESTS