The Nation and George Floyd’s Family Are Still Mourning His Death, A Year Later

Robyn Mowatt Robyn Mowatt is a Staff Writer at Okayplayer where she…
George Floyd Mural
Photo Credit: Emmanuel Dunand for AFP

On the anniversary of George Floyd’s death the family attorney Benjamin Crump offered the following reflective thoughts, “America is finally having this conversation about racial reckoning but that’s just talk if we don’t act. Now is the time to act.”

George Floyd was a father, a brother, an uncle, a son, a cousin and a friend to many. 

On the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death, the nation is reflecting on the loss that was a rallying cry for many Americans and activists throughout the entire globe. Protests, rallies and demonstrations took place in nearly all 50 states driving the point home that Floyd’s killing was unjust. 

Philonise Floyd, his brother, shared a few select words as he reflected on his brother’s killing. “I’m thinking about all the activists and the people who stepped out and put their lives on the line during this pandemic,” he said during a CNN interview. “My brother, he was an asset to our family and we loved him so much.”

In a feature, LaTonya Floyd, his sister, admits she keeps a picture of Derek Chauvin, Floyd’s killer, in her truck. She also expresses that she looks him square in the eyes in hopes of figuring out why he took her brother’s life. Her anger has kept her going, and she adds it also has kept her sane. “It’s been a year that ripped my heart out,” she said. 

Philonise has done a number of public appearances over the last year. During a recent live broadcast he talked about George moving to Minnesota to create a better life for himself and his children. One distinct moment when he spoke included him sharing that Daunte Wright was gunned down near the courthouse where the Floyd family was seeking justice.

Family attorney Benjamin Crump also released the following statement on Tuesday:

“Let’s [not] squander this moment, let’s [not] lose this opportunity. It has been 57 years since we’ve had meaningful police reform on the federal level in America. America is finally having this conversation about racial reckoning but that’s just talk if we don’t act. Now is the time to act.”

Crump was mentioning the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a comprehensive bill that could shift the culture of policing. Holding police officers accountable for their actions is a core goal of the act. Federal investigations of police misconduct cases and racial and religious profiling are also key areas stated in the expansive legislation. Additionally, chokeholds and no-knock warrants will be banned at the federal level if the proposal passes. 

On the topic of police reform, Philonise said if Congress passes the act, it would be one of the best things they can do for America. He went on to say people should not have to live in fear, especially African Americans and people of color. “They are dying at a rate that we shouldn’t have in this world.”

Back in April, Derek Chauvin, the officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck in what would become a viral moment was found guilty of second and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin is awaiting sentencing. 

Members of the Floyd family visited the White House in commemoration of Floyd’s death. Lil Baby and attorney Benjamin Crump also attended the historic meet-up. In a TMZ video, the Atlanta rapper was asked why he accompanied the family and he stated, “Trying to pass the George Floyd Police Act bill.”

On the family’s visit which included a meeting in the Oval Office alongside Vice President Kamala Harris, President Joe Biden shared the following via Twitter: “Earlier today in the Oval Office, I met with George Floyd’s family. They’ve shown extraordinary courage over the last year, especially his young daughter Gianna.”

This article was previously published on May 25, it was updated on May 26.

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