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New York: Thursday, August 13, 2020
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George Floyd's brother asks Congress to listen to "the streets around the world"

George Floyd’s brother asks Congress to listen to “the streets around the world”

“Make this stop” Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, has asked the United States Congress. A day after his older brother’s exciting funeral in Houston, Texas, Philonise Floyd appeared on Capitol Hill on Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee, and lamented that “George’s requests for help were ignored.” The brother of the man who died at the hands of the police in Minneapolis, whose name has become a global cry for justice, has lent the first and most important of a series of testimonies intended to enrich the debate on a legislative proposal, initiative of the Democratic majority in the lower house, which raises the most ambitious federal police involvement in recent history.

“I am tired” Philonise Floyd has told lawmakers. “I am tired of the pain. I’m here today to ask you to make this stop. Stop the pain. Make sure we are not tired.”

The Capitol Hearing is held two days after the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives introduced a bill to reform the police and criminal justice system in response to the wave of protests unleashed following the death of George Floyd, the May 25. The initiative, among other things, would limit protections to police officers accused of misconduct and would prohibit the immobilization technique consisting of suffocating the detainee by pressing his neck, a technique that was applied in the arrest of Floyd and that, according to the autopsy, caused his death. The practice has already been banned these days in several cities, such as San Diego or Houston.

“He didn’t deserve to die for $ 20” said Philonise Floyd, referring to why his older brother was being arrested, a complaint that he had paid for a pack of cigarettes with a fake $ 20 bill. “I ask you, is that what a black man’s life is worth?”

The death of George Floyd, recorded in a video whose viewing continues to cause “deep pain” to his brother, has sparked a wave of protests that began in Minneapolis and have spread to various countries. Authorities from around the world, local and national, have announced legislative reforms. In the United States, the last has been the District of Columbia, which has approved a series of reforms, among others, the prohibition of hiring police officers with a history of misbehavior and the obligation to make public the names of agents who use force against citizens.

Big cities like Los Angeles and New York have promised to withdraw funding from their police forces and to use those funds for social services. The wave of protests has also reached public monuments in honor of colonizers and Confederate leaders, who have been attacked in various cities in the country. Even Paramount has canceled the broadcast of Cops, the reality show that glorifies the police and has been on the air for 30 years; and HBO has temporarily withdrawn from its streaming service Gone with the Wind, a classic epic about the civil war, released in 1939, for its depiction of racial prejudice.

“Please listen to the demand that I am making of you, of my family and the demand that is sounding on the streets around the world,” said Philonise Floyd. “People of all backgrounds, genders and races have come together to call for change. Honor them, honor George, and make the necessary changes that make the police the solution, not the problem.”

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