Obama called Philonise Floyd before brother’s memorial service: NYT
Former President Obama spoke with the brother of George Floyd and offered his support and condolences shortly before Floyd’s memorial service, The New York Times reported Sunday.
Speaking with the Times, the Rev. Al Sharpton said Obama’s conversation with Philonise Floyd resulted in the Floyd family feeling comforted for the first time since George Floyd’s death during an encounter with Minneapolis police.
“I want you to have hope. I want you to know you are not alone. I want you to know that Michelle and I will do anything you want me to do,” the former president said, according to Sharpton.
“That was the first time, I think, that the Floyd family really experienced solace since he died,” Sharpton told the Times. Two other sources confirmed the substance of the call with the Times.
The call, which lasted nearly half an hour, occurred in early June just hours before George Floyd’s memorial service, which was attended by hundreds of activists who have called for changes to law enforcement and policing following his death.
Protests erupted in cities across the nation after video of George Floyd’s arrest was released, which showed the handcuffed African American man on the ground asking for medical attention while a white officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Four former officers have been charged over his death, including one who was charged with second-degree murder.
Philonise Floyd previously confirmed to MSNBC that he received a call from President Trump following his brother’s death but characterized Trump as rude during the call while leaving him few opportunities to speak.
“He didn’t give me an opportunity to even speak,” Philonise Floyd told Sharpton during an interview on the network. “It was hard. I was trying to talk to him, but he just kept, like, pushing me off, like ‘I don’t want to hear what you’re talking about.'”
“And I just told him, I want justice. I said that I couldn’t believe that they committed a modern-day lynching in broad daylight,” he added.
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