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Floyd's brother after verdict: 'We are able to breathe again'

Floyd's brother after verdict: 'We are able to breathe again'
© Greg Nash

George Floyd’s brother praised the jury's decision to find former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of all three criminal charges in the murder of Floyd, saying "we are able to breathe again” following Chauvin's conviction.

“I get calls, I get DMs, people from Brazil, from Ghana, from Germany, everybody, London, Italy, they're all saying the same thing. We won't be able to breathe until you are able to breathe. Today, we are able to breathe again,” Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, said at a press conference alongside other family members and advocates.

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Floyd, at the beginning of his remarks, said he feels “relieved” that he finally has the “opportunity for hopefully getting some sleep,” adding that it has been a “long journey.”

Chauvin was found guilty of all charges against him on Tuesday, including second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder.

He was captured on video footage last May kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as Floyd said he could not breathe. Floyd was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Philonise Floyd reflected on how the country watched his brother’s death, calling it a “motion picture.”

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“Today, you have the cameras all around the world to see and show what happened to my brother. It was a motion picture, the world seeing his life being extinguished. And I could do nothing but watch, especially in that courtroom, over and over and over again, as my brother was murdered,” Floyd said.

He also said that times are “getting harder everyday,” referencing the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, who was fatally shot by police on April 11 in Brooklyn Center, Minn., which is located approximately 10 miles from the courthouse where Chauvin's trial took place.

“He should still be here,” Floyd said of Wright, adding “I’m gonna put up a fight every day, because I’m not just fighting for George anymore, I’m fighting for everybody around this world.”

Floyd also referenced Emmett Till, the Black teenager who was lynched in 1955, calling him “the first George Floyd.”

In an interview with CNN following the verdict, Philonise Floyd said it was a “bit of relief” to hear from the jury, adding that he “actually paced back and forth before I even went into the courtroom.”

He added that listening to the words “guilty, and guilty, and guilty on all counts” was a “moment that I will never be able to relive, I will always have it inside of me.”

“It’s just, being able to know that it’s justice for African American people, just people of color period in this world, this is monumental, this is historic, this is a pivotal moment in history,” Floyd continued.

He said all he could think about was other African Americans who were killed, including Till, Wright, Sandra Bland and Eric Garner, among others.

“And we all need justice, we’re all fighting for one reason and it’s justice for all and I think today has been a occasion where people can celebrate, but tomorrow it’s back to business, because we have to stay steps ahead of everything, and we’ll keep pushing, and we’ll keep phishing, and like Reverend Al say, we’ll keep fighting,” Floyd said.