George Floyd's brother calls for end to violence as he visits scene of fatal arrest

“He loved it here. I highly doubt, no I know, he would not want you to be doing this’

Andrew Buncombe
Monday 01 June 2020 20:17
Brother of George Floyd says Trump didn't want to hear what he was talking about

Terrence Floyd has visited the scene where his brother George was detained by four police officers, resulting in his death, to call for an end to the violence that has marred mostly peaceful protests against police brutality, and to urge people to vote.

In scenes of high drama, a week after a white police officer was filmed kneeling on his brother’s throat as he was arrested, Mr Floyd himself took to his knees on the junction of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue South in south Minneapolis.

Momentarily it appeared he was overcome with emotion, his knees buckling. Then he rose, picked up a loud hailer handed to him and urged the city, and the country, to put a a halt to the violence and looting.

“Let’s switch it up. Let’s switch it up. Do this peacefully, please,” Terrence Floyd said.

“He loved it here....I highly doubt. No, no. I know he would not want you to be doing this and I’m not saying to people who — whoever’s doing it — relax. Peace on the left, justice on the right.”

In the days since Mr Floyd’s death, and as protests have rocked not just Minneapolis but cities across the nation, this location in the south of the city has become a location for both prayers and activism.

It has also been a place where anger has frequently been vented.

Diana Kelly, an African American woman who said she was in her 70s, she had seen decades of violence. The protests were a “movement”, she believed. “Our only weapon is a match. We don’t have bombs.”

She said real change would require action by white people, not just visiting the location for the day, or organising a community clean up, but sustained action.

“It can’t be just 9 to 5. People have to be fully committed,” she said.

Another African American woman, Bonnie, who was in her 30s, said she was furious that black people were not only being killed, but claimed they were also blamed and scapegoated for society’s ills.

Trump claims Minneapolis a 'laughing stock' for George Floyd protests

She said she lived in the suburbs of Minneapolis, with her son and daughter, and that it was not safe for her son to enter the city.

A white woman called Donna said she felt appalled that she had driven through the neighbourhood many times, but never stopped to get out and walk around. She said white people as herself needed to take time for deep reflection.​

This was not the first time Mr Floyd had spoken since his brother was detained by former Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin, and three of his colleagues. All have been forced from the force and Mr Chauvin has been charged with 3rd degree murder.

Previously he had said Donald Trump had not wanted to hear what he had to say when he made a condolence call.

He also spoke when he put asked police chief Medaria Arradondo, with CNN as an intermediary, whether the other three officers would face justice. The police chief said he considered the former officer’s failure to intervene as an act of “complicity”.

But was the first time he had spoken from the location next to a general store, where Mr Chauvin kneeled on his brother’s throat for more than eight minutes, even as he gasped for breath and as onlookers warned he was passing out. Mr Floyd died the same day.

The speech was accompanied by shouts of support from the crowd.

“Keep my brother’s name ringing! Keep my brother’s name ringing! Keep my brother’s name ringing! Keep my brother’s name ringing! Keep my brother’s name ringing,” said Mr Floyd.

Those gathered then did just that, in a call and response: “George – Floyd. George – Floyd. George – Floyd.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments