Just one a day after burying his brother, George, Philonise Floyd came to Washington to testify before Congress. The House Judiciary Committee wanted to hear from him as they examine police practices, use of excessive force, and holding law enforcement more accountable.
During an emotional testimony, George Floyd's brother pleaded with lawmakers to make sure his brother did not die in vain.
"Honor George, and make the necessary changes that make law enforcement the solution and not the problem," said Philonise Floyd.
Floyd described the pain he's felt watching his brother die helplessly on the ground while begging for his mom.
"George wasn't hurting anyone that day," continued Floyd. "He didn't deserve to die over $20. I am asking you, is that what a black man is worth? $20? This is 2020. Enough is enough. The people marching in the streets are telling you enough is enough."
Also testifying before the committee was Angela Underwood Jacobs, the sister of Patrick Underwood, an Oakland, CA, police officer killed in a targeted drive-by shooting. It happened less than two weeks ago as he guarded a federal courthouse in Oakland where protests were gathered nearby.
"When innocent people are harmed in the name of justice, no one prevails, we all lose," testified Jacobs. "This is greater than a black, white, or blue issue – it is a humanity issue."
In her testimony, Jacobs described calls to defund the police as "ridiculous" and instead offered this solution.
"I wholeheartedly urge us all, all Americans not to give in to hate and anger, but to resolve hatred with kindness and love. To lead with a sense of purpose and renewed energy. To create positive change as I have outlined here through education, jobs, housing, and listening," she said.
While others testifying warned of what's happened in cities like Cleveland, OH, where police budgets and presence were cut.
"The murder rates have climbed. The property crimes are at record levels. Aggravated robbery statistics are higher. Drug sales, drug use, drug abuse is higher. Drug and alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents are the highest they've ever been," explained Pastor Darrell Scott of Cleveland's New Spirit Revival Center.
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said the goal of the police reform bill sponsored by Democrats is to give police a mentality of a guardian, not a warrior.
"The bill would make it easier for the federal government to successfully prosecute misconduct police cases. It would ban chokeholds. It would ban racially and religious profiling, It would encourage prosecutions independent of local police, and it would eliminate the dubious court-made doctrine of qualified immunity for law enforcement," Nadler said.
While many Republicans don't support everything in the Democrat's bill, they know change is needed.
"We can work together on meaningful reform and real results while upholding the respect and appreciation that is due every American patriot who faithfully serves us on the thin blue line," said Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA)
On the Senate side, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) is meeting with the White House to discuss police reform legislation President Trump might support, including a bill that would require states receiving federal funding for law enforcement to report details of officer-related shootings.
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