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George Floyd's brother visits Minneapolis memorial, calls on protesters to act 'peacefully, please'

George Floyd's brother visits Minneapolis memorial, calls on protesters to act 'peacefully, please'
© Getty Images

The brother of George Floyd, an African American man whose death in police custody set off protests throughout the nation, on Monday implored demonstrators in Minneapolis to conduct themselves peacefully as they push for reform. 

Speaking at the site of his brother’s arrest and death, which is serving as a makeshift memorial, Terrence Floyd delivered an impassioned speech in which he urged demonstrators to stop destroying property and remember they have a voice they can use in elections. 

"Let’s do this another way. Let's stop thinking our voice don’t matter and vote," Terrence Floyd said. "Not just for the president ... Educate yourself and know who you’re voting for. And that’s how we're going to hit 'em." 

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George Floyd, 46, died last week after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes while executing an arrest. Footage of the incident showed Derek Chauvin, who has since been fired and arrested, keeping his knee pinned on Floyd's neck as Floyd repeatedly groaned and said, "I cannot breathe." 

Protests in Minneapolis in the days after the video surfaced resulted in violent clashes between police and demonstrators, as well as destruction of property. On Thursday night, a police precinct in the city was set ablaze, one of many incidents that led the Minnesota governor to fully mobilize the National Guard and the city to set a curfew. 

The violent demonstrations have spread to multiple other cities across the nation, including Washington, D.C., which will also be under a curfew on Monday and Tuesday nights.

Terrence Floyd admonished those responsible for the violence, saying that he knew his brother would not have approved. 

"If I'm not over here blowing up stuff, if I'm not over here messing up my community, what are you all doing?" Terrence Floyd asked. "You’re doing nothing. That’s not going to bring my brother back at all."

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He urged protesters to conduct themselves in a different way, arguing that "in every case of police brutality, the same thing has been happening."

"Y'all protest, y'all destroy stuff, and they don't move," he said. "You know why they don't move? Because it's not their stuff, it's our stuff, so they want us to destroy our stuff. So let's do this another way."

"Let’s switch it up, y'all. Do this peacefully, please," he said, before leading the chant, "peace on the left, justice on the right." 

Terrence Floyd concluded his remarks by shouting "George" as the crowd around him responded "Floyd." 

His remarks came the same day that the Floyd's family lawyer said that a private autopsy had found that George's Floyd death was caused by "asphyxia due to neck and back compression," contradicting an earlier examination by county officials that said there was no evidence to support traumatic asphyxia or strangulation. 

The four officers involved in the arrest were terminated just a day after the incident. Derek Chauvin, the officer whose knee was pinned on George Floyd's neck, has since been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Calls have mounted in recent days for all of the officers to face criminal charges. Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Sunday on CNN that he believed all of the involved officers were "complicit" and bore responsibility. 

"Being silent or not intervening, to me, you're complicit," Arradondo said. "Mr. Floyd died in our hands, and so I see that as being complicit."