What do you think? Leave a respectful comment.

George Floyd’s brother: ‘People want to see change, they want to see justice’

The killings of Daunte Wright and George Floyd continue to reverberate, not only in Minnesota but around the U.S., on policing, use of force and race. Philonise Floyd, George Floyd's younger brother who took the stand Monday in former police officer Derek Chauvin's trial, and Ben Crump, an attorney representing the Floyd family and Daunte Wright's mother, join Yamiche Alcindor to discuss.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Yamiche Alcindor has reaction now from two people directly involved in both of these cases.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Judy, the killings of Daunte Wright and George Floyd continue to reverberate not only in Minnesota, but around the country, when it comes to policing, use of force and race.

    Our next two guests are personally involved with all of this.

    Philonise Floyd is George Floyd's younger brother, and he took the witness stand yesterday. Benjamin Crump is an attorney representing the Floyd family and Daunte Wright's mother.

    Thank you both so much for being here.

    Philonise, I want to start with you.

    You took the stand yesterday. What was that experience like for you, and what has been the hardest part of the last 24 hours?

  • Philonise Floyd:

    Just taking the stand, it was pretty much like a relief to me, because the narrative was already painted that they wanted to say that my brother was this, he was that.

    And he was the one that was tortured to death on camera. He was the one that I had to see over and over get murdered on camera. So, when I had the opportunity to be able to speak about my brother, the things that he shared with us, how he would interact with my mom, it was a blessing, especially when I think about how he used to pick her up when she became handicapped, and he used to dance with her.

    And they used to let Al Green play "Love and Happiness." It made me melt when I watched them, because it was just so unique watching them dance, and things like that, the interactions that they had.

    And for the last 24 hours, I have just been kind of excited, but, at the same time, I have been down, because I think about what is going on with Daunte and his family, how they're grieving. And I wouldn't want that on any other family. That's why I stand and I support them now.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    You talk about Daunte right now. And I want to ask you about him in a minute.

    But convicting officers is very, very rare in this country. What do you make of how the trial has gone? And how confident are you in this system of justice?

  • Philonise Floyd:

    You know, I'm confident in what we have seen, what the world witnessed.

    The world seen my brother's life extinguished in front of all. And I am confident that these officers, they will be convicted, because you have too many protesters all around the world marching nationwide, and everybody is yelling "I can't breathe" over and over and over again, because people want to see change. They want to see justice, because what happened in that video was wrong.

    And these police officers, they have to be held accountable, or this will continue to happen over and over again, and you will see Mr. Crump everywhere all across the world trying to help these families grieve and get through this process that should — we shouldn't have.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    And, Ben, you have been all across the world representing different families. What do you make of the cases presented by the prosecution and the defense? And how much faith do you have that the system this time may deliver justice for your clients?

  • Benjamin Crump:

    Well, I believe Keith Ellison, the attorney general, the first African American attorney general of the state of Minnesota, who has a track record as a champion in civil rights, he and his prosecutors are making a very compelling case that Derek Chauvin should be held criminally liable for the killing of George Perry Floyd.

    But, despite what I may think, Philonise Floyd's optimism and his faith is rubbing off on me. And so I do believe in my heart that, based on this video that has been seen 50 million times on the Internet alone, that, in my heart, we're going to get a conviction.

    But America has broken my heart in the past.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    There are a lot of people who are feeling heartbroken.

    Philonise, I want to ask you. Philando Castile was killed before your brother in Minnesota. Now we have Daunte Wright killed during this trial for this officer. What do you make of this latest killing of Daunte, and how is it making you possibly relive your own trauma?

  • Philonise Floyd:

    Oh, man, it was terrible.

    I woke up in the morning to find out that a young African American child had passed away. He was still a kid. You know, he didn't come from a broken family. He had a mom. He had a dad. He had everything that you can imagine that a lot of kids grow up in the African American community we don't have.

    And just to see how their mom was grieving, it was devastating watching her. It was devastating watching the agony, the agony. She really showed what these families are going through, because a lot of these people that you meet, they don't know how to process this information. They don't know how to talk about what is going on.

    And she was just outspoken, and she was just letting you know who he was, and he still should be here. Just like his name is Daunte Wright, he should still be right here, right now, like his last name.

    And, unfortunately, we have to go through this trauma. And the world is going through this traumatic stage again, but we have to stand with Daunte and his family.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    And, Ben Crump, I want to come to you.

    You're representing the family of Daunte Wright, his mother. Tell — what can you tell us about that case, whether or not the officer is going to be charged? And what do you make of the fact that this is, of course, happening during this trial?

  • Benjamin Crump:

    I believe that the police officer will be charged with some level of manslaughter by, when they look at all of the evidence, the fact that she was a 26-year police veteran, and she was training people on that day.

    And there's a lot of suspicions. And they're looking into whether or not they even should have been stopping people for expired license tags, because the DMV had been shut down and backlogged since COVID-19 pandemic.

    And so there was a directive sent out that don't be stopping people for having expired tags, because it may be they haven't been able to get an appointment with the DMV. And so I say that to say it seems like, even for minor traffic events, Black people end up dead in some of the most unusual, bizarre ways.

    I mean, think about George Floyd, Philonise's brother. That $20 counterfeit bill, that is a misdemeanor. He could have been given a ticket. They had the discretion to do that. But when it is Black people in America, they always engage in doing the most, the most infuriating manner to use excessive force against us.

    I just see George over the $20. I think about the sergeant in Virginia who — putting his hands out the window, being very reasonable.

    And then I think about Daunte, this young man who probably was not making the best decision. But he didn't put them in harm's way. He was trying to get away from them on a traffic citation. And they shoot and kill him, right in the midst of the Derek Chauvin trial regarding George Floyd's killing, which I believe is the seminal civil rights case in policing in America's history, that you would have a police officer kill a young man, an unarmed young man, within 10 miles from where the courthouse…

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    And, Ben Crump, sticking with you, we have talked about Black people and policing for a long, long time.

    What is the disconnect here?

  • Benjamin Crump:

    It is about implicit bias.

    They don't give marginalized minorities the benefit of consideration and professionalism when they pull us. And that's why you see them doing the most, vs. trying to use their discretion to de-escalate matters.

    They de-escalated just fine on January 6, 2021, when the white nationalists stormed the Capitol. And so it is not that they can't de-escalate. It's not that they're trained. I believe it is implicit bias training that they don't respect Black people in America enough to make sure we get the benefit of our constitutional rights.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Well, thank you so much.

    Philonise Floyd, condolences to your family. I'm so sorry for your loss. Thanks for joining us.

    Benjamin Crump, attorney, thank you so much for being here.

  • Philonise Floyd:

    Thank you.

  • Benjamin Crump:

    Thank you, Yamiche.

Listen to this Segment