The killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers last month was a horrific but all too common example of “the way black people are treated by police in America,” his younger brother Philonise Floyd said Wednesday in testimony urging the United Nations to launch an independent investigation into U.S. law enforcement violence and abuse.
“My brother, George Floyd, is one of the many black men and women that have been murdered by police in recent years. The sad truth is that the case is not unique.”
“You have the power to help us get justice for my brother George Floyd,” Philonise said in pre-recorded remarks played during an emergency U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) hearing. “I am asking you to help him. I am asking you to help me. I am asking you to help us—black people in America.”
As Common Dreams reported Monday, the U.N. agreed to hold the hearing on police brutality and racial injustice at the urging of a group of African nations that is also lobbying the U.N. to investigate law enforcement violence in the United States.
Philonise told the UNHRC that “the officers showed no mercy, no humanity, and tortured my brother to death in the middle of the street in Minneapolis and with a crowd of witnesses watching and begging them to stop.”
Watch Philonise’s full testimony:
BREAKING: George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, urges the UN to investigate police killings of Black people in America and help him get justice for his brother’s murder. pic.twitter.com/HPyCjaFVWg
— ACLU (@ACLU) June 17, 2020
If not for the video of the May 25 killing and the mass protests that followed, Philonise said, none of the officers would have been arrested for their actions.
Derek Chauvin, the now-former Minneapolis officer who drove his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes, has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. More than a week after the incident, the other three officers on the scene of Floyd’s killing were arrested and charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
“My brother, George Floyd, is one of many black men and women that have been murdered by police in recent years,” Philonise said. “The sad truth is that his case is not unique. The way you saw my brother tortured and murdered on camera is the way black people are treated by police in America. You watched my brother die.”
Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU’s Human Rights Program, said in a statement ahead of Philonise’s testimony Wednesday that the U.N. “cannot allow the United States to escape international scrutiny for its oppression of Black people.”
“The country must be held accountable and subject to independent investigation for its human rights violations,” said Dakwar, “including the police killings of Black people and state-sanctioned violence against protesters and journalists.”