George Floyd's brother asks America to remember murders that 'didn’t go viral' at online convention

George Floyd's brother asks America to remember murders that 'didn’t go viral' at online convention
Image via Screengrab.

The brothers of George Floyd—the Black man whose arrest and death sparked protests throughout the nation—led a powerful moment of silence Monday on the first day of the Democratic National Convention. Speaking virtually from Texas, Philonise Floyd spoke about his late brother’s “selfless” and “giving spirit” while Rodney Floyd, another of George Floyd’s brothers, listened.

“A spirit that has shown up on streets around our nation, and around the world—people of all races, all ages, all genders, all backgrounds—peacefully protesting in the name of love and unity,” Philonise Floyd said. “It’s a fitting legacy for our brother. But George should be alive today.”

He continued:

“Breonna Taylor should be alive today. Ahmaud Arbery should be alive today. Eric Garner should be alive today. Stephon Clark, Atatiana Jefferson, Sandra Bland—they should all be alive today. So it’s up to us to carry on the fight for justice. Our actions will be their legacies. We must always find ourselves in what John Lewis called ‘good trouble.’ For the names we do not know, the faces we will never see, those we can’t mourn because their murders didn’t go viral. Please join me in a moment of silence, to honor George and the many other souls we’ve lost to hate and injustice. And when this moment ends, let’s make sure we never stop saying their names.”

George Floyd's last words were “I can’t breathe,” but they failed to stop now-fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin from kneeling on the 46-year-old Black man’s neck for more than eight minutes. Chauvin, who as an off-duty guard worked with Floyd last year at El Nuevo Rancho nightclub, was eventually charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Breonna Taylor, 26, was asleep when police officers shot her eight times after obtaining a no-knock drug warrant for a person already in custody in Louisville that night, March 13. No drugs were found at Taylor’s apartment.

Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was jogging when he was shot and killed Feb. 23, 2020 after being accused of trespassing at a South Georgia home that was under construction. It took authorities 74 days to arrest and charge Gregory McMichael, a retired investigator for the local district attorney’s office, and his son Travis McMichael. Another man, William "Roddie" Bryan, filmed the moments leading up to Arbery’s death and was also charged with murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

Eric Garner, 43, told an officer who put him in a chokehold that he couldn't breathe 11 times before the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, killed him on July 17, 2014. Pantaleo wasn't convicted or even indicted, and he continued working for the New York City Police Department until he was fired five years later.

Stephon Clark, 22, was in his grandmother's backyard when Sacramento police shot him six times in the back alone in a deadly incident March 18, 2018. Officers were investigating a vandalism complaint and alleged they thought Clark pointed a gun at them, but he was unarmed, The New York Times reported.

Atatiana Jefferson, 28, was shot and killed at home by a Texas police officer when a neighbor concerned about her mother's wellbeing called to report an open door on Oct. 12, 2019 in Fort Worth. Now-fired police officer Aaron Dean failed to identify himself when he opened a gate to her mother’s backyard, shined a light in her back window, and fired at Jefferson after yelling: "Put your hands up, show me your hands." Both of Jefferson’s parents died in the months following her death.

Sandra Bland, 28, was found hanging in a Texas jail cell July 13, 2015 after she filmed her own arrest three days earlier. Former Texas state trooper Brian Encinia alleged Bland was stopped for failing to use a turn signal.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.