“Not just black lives matter, but all lives matter,” Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd who was murdered by former Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer Derek Chauvin last year, said following Chauvin’s sentencing of 22.5 years Friday. “We need to stand up and fight. We can’t get comfortable, because when you get comfortable, people forget about you.”
Floyd said the color of one’s skin should not matter, and that everyone wants to live and work together in the world.
“You have good police officers, and you have bad ones,” he said. “You shouldn’t have to sort them out.”
He said everyone should be the same, even though he grew up in a predominantly Black community and the majority of Minnesota is white.
“Everyone should want to make a difference and when they come to Minnesota, they shouldn’t have to think about (what happened to) George Floyd,” he said. “They should be thinking about how great Minnesota is.”
Floyd’s murder went viral with a video taken by a witness showing Chauvin kneeling on his neck while he was face down on the pavement for more than nine minutes.
Floyd was last heard saying he could not breathe and calling out to his mother before going limp, and then was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Floyd’s murder touched off riots throughout the country and propelled the Black Lives Matter movement to prominence.
Chauvin was convicted by a jury of second-degree murder in April.
Despite that organization claiming that saying, “all lives matter,” minimized Floyd and other Black victims who died at the hands of police, it was not the first time his brother uttered those words.
“Anyone with a heart, they know that that is wrong. You do not do that to a human being. You don’t do that to an animal," Philonise Floyd said while testifying in front of Congress in June 2020. "All lives matter, Black lives matter."
In the 2020 presidential campaign, then Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg promised to stop using the “all lives matter” phrase after he was criticized by the organization.
"At that time, I was talking about a lot of issues around racial reconciliation in our community. What I did not understand at that time, was that phrase, just early into mid-2015, was coming to be viewed as a sort of counter-slogan to Black Lives Matter," Buttigieg said in April 2019 after giving a speech about racial injustice. "And so, this statement that seems very anodyne and something that nobody could be against, actually wound up being used to devalue what the Black Lives Matter movement was telling us."
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