'He's in history': George Floyd's family reacts to Derek Chauvin guilty verdict

KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images

(MINNEAPOLIS) -- George Floyd's brother says he's "able to breathe again" after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts for Floyd's death.

"I feel relieved," one of his brothers, Philonise Floyd, said at a Tuesday news conference. "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.'"

Chauvin was convicted Tuesday of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

"You have the cameras all around the world to see and show what happened to my brother," Philonise Floyd said. "It was a motion picture -- the world seeing his life being extinguished. And I could do nothing but watch -- especially in that courtroom."

Another brother of George Floyd, Terrence Floyd, said at the news conference, "I'm just grateful. I'm grateful that my grandmother, my mother, my aunt, they got to see this history made."

Terrence Floyd said he "will salute" his slain brother "every day of my life."

"I'm going to miss him, but now I know he's in history," he said.

Philonise Floyd said "the person that comes to my mind" in the wake of the verdict is Emmett Till, who he called "the first George Floyd."

Till, a 14-year-old Black boy, was killed in Mississippi 1955. Till was kidnapped, beaten and lynched after he was accused of whistling at a white woman. The two white men who went on trial were acquitted by an all-white jury.

"If we don't give up... we can win some rounds," Rev. Al Sharpton said at the news conference. "But the war and the fight is not over. Just two days from now, we're going to have to deal with the funeral of Daunte Wright," a 20-year-old Black man shot dead by Minnesota police this month.

"We still have cases to fight, but this gives us the energy to fight on," Sharpton said.

Family attorney Ben Crump said at the news conference, "Let's pause for a moment to proclaim this historical moment -- not just for the legacy of George Floyd but for the legacy of America. The legacy of trying to make America for all Americans."

"So that George Floyd's victory and America's quest for equal justice under the law will be intertwined," he said.

"This is a victory for those who champion humanity over inhumanity," Crump said. "America, let's lean into this moment and let's make sure, Rev. Al, that this moment will be documented for our children yet unborn as they continue on the journey to justice, knowing that the blood of George Floyd will give them a trail to find a way to a better America, a more just America."

An "America where Breonna Taylor gets an opportunity to sleep in peace at night without the police busting in her front door," and "Ahmaud Arbery gets to run free and not be lynched for jogging while Black," Crump added.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 7:05PM by Emily Shapiro Permalink