George Floyd’s family is speaking out. Following the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, several people close to Floyd spoke out about the news, and what it means to his memory.
Floyd’s younger brother, Philonise Floyd, told reporters after the verdict was read, “I was just praying they would find him guilty.”
“I feel relieved today that I finally have the opportunity for getting some sleep. A lot of days, I prayed and I hoped and I was speaking everything into existence. I said, I have faith that he will be convicted,'” he shared at a press conference, surrounded by family, friends and supporters — including Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. “It’s been a long journey, and it’s been less than a year.”
Philonise got emotional as he reflected on the parallels between his brother’s case and the murder of Emmett Till in 1955. Philonise recently sat down with Till’s cousin, Deborah Watts, during a CNN special, and Philonise shared how Till “was the first George Floyd.”
“Today, you have cameras all around the world to see and show what happened to my brother. It was a motion picture, the world watched his life being extinguished. And I could do nothing but watch,” Philonise shared. “Especially in that courtroom, over and over and over again, watching my brother get murdered.”
Philonise ended his address with a call to continued action in the fight against system injustice, thanking the protestors and declaring, “We’re here, and we’re not going anywhere.”
Floyd’s brother Rodney Floyd also spoke out, and said in an interview with MSN after the verdict, “I’m feeling tears of joy, so emotional that no [other] family in history got that far. This right here’s for everybody’s that been in this situation. Everybody.”
Floyd’s girlfriend, Courteney Ross, also addressed the jury’s guilty verdict to a crowd of supporters outside the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“I want everyone to remember, whoever you pray to, whatever you believe in, God is good. God proved that today. Thank you Father God!” Ross said, addressing a crowd after the verdict was read. “Thank you, God, for giving us this moment. We needed it, Minneapolis needed it, my young people needed it, my protestors.
“Floyd stood for what’s fair, stood for what’s right, Floyd stood for those who are voiceless,” she said during her speech, later sharing, “I loved him with all my heart, and I’d do anything to have him standing next to me again.
“But I know he gave his life so that other people’s cases can get reopened… and we can get justice for people that deserved it,” Ross said.
George Floyd's girlfriend, Courteney Ross, reacts to Derek Chauvin being convicted of murder in Minneapolis:
"I know that he gave his life so that other people's cases can get reopened." pic.twitter.com/Gj540eblGX
Darnella Frazier — the teenager whose video of the murder galvanized the world in protest and served as a key piece of evidence in Chauvin’s murder trial — took to Instagram to express her elation at the conviction.
“I just cried so hard😩This last hour my heart was beating so fast, I was so anxious, anxiety bussing through the roof. But to know GUILTY ON ALL 3 CHARGES !!! THANK YOU GOD THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU,” she wrote.
Frazier added in the caption, “My heart goes out to George Floyd’s family!❤️🙏🏽 Although no amount of charges will bring back a loved one, justice was served and his murderer will pay the price. We did it.”
A post shared by Darnella 🌷 (@darnella_frazier03)
On Tuesday, Chauvin was found guilty on all charges — including second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — following 13 days of powerful testimony.
The jury reportedly deliberated for 10 hours over two days before returning with their verdict on Tuesday.
Prosecutor Steve Schleicher said in his closing arguments, presented on Monday, that the jury should focus on the evidence before their eyes — specifically, the video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, leading to his death.
“Believe your eyes,” Schleicher said, according to CBS News. “Unreasonable force, pinning him to the ground — that’s what killed him. This was a homicide.”
The three other officers involved in the arrest that claimed Floyd’s life are charged with aiding and abetting. Their trial is expected to begin in August.
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