George Floyd’s brother asks Congress to reform the police

In a lively appeal to the US Congress, George Floyd’s brother asked elected officials to “put an end to the suffering of African Americans” and to enact substantial police force reforms.

“I am here to ask you to put an end to suffering, to put an end to our exhaustion.” The day after the funeral of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 in Minneapolis by a white police officer, his brother Philonise Floyd was interviewed by the Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives with a majority of Democrats.

Before the congress, on Wednesday, June 10, the latter launched a lively appeal, asking the elected officials to “put an end to the suffering of African Americans” and adopt significant police force reforms.

Very touched, he explained “not being able to describe the pain” felt by watching the video of his brother’s ordeal, suffocated by agent Derek Chauvin who remained kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

“Deadly force should only be applied when a life is at stake”

Please listen to my talk, listen to conversations from my family, the conversations coming up from the streets all over the world, “he added, referring to the demonstrations that followed the drama, the most important since civil rights in the 1960s.

“Honor them and adopt the reforms needed to ensure that the police are the solution and not the problem,” said 40-something.

“Make them responsible when they make mistakes, teach them how to treat people with empathy and respect and teach them that deadly force should only be applied when a life is at stake,” he added.

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“The nation requires us to act”

The hearing was organized in conjunction with police and civil society representatives and was organized to support a bill presented earlier this week by elected Democrats, which aims to “change the culture” of police in the United States.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to racism and injustice that permeate our police force too much,” said Jerry Nadler, Commissioner, who opened the meeting. “The nation demands that we act to achieve meaningful change.”

Since George Floyd’s death, the police have been in the hot spot. The masses of protesters took to the streets of the country – and even on other continents – to demand justice and deep reforms in the 18,000 police services that coexist in this highly decentralized country (municipal police, county governors, state patrol …).

At the call of “Black Lives Matter” they condemned the “police brutality” that disproportionately targets African Americans. In fact, almost a quarter of people killed by police in 2019 were black, but they make up only 13% of the US population.

The protesters also want to end the broad immunity enjoyed by the police. Over the past 15 years, only 110 officers have been charged with the murder of a suspect.

In this case, it took several days for Derek Chauvin to be charged with “murder” and his three colleagues involved in the drama “participation”.

National register of wrongdoing police

Faced with street anger, some agencies have already announced first steps. In Houston, for example, police will abandon the controversial “bottleneck” practice of arresting suspects: Minneapolis police will be dismantled to be monitored; in Washington, it will no longer give way to unions in disciplinary proceedings.

At the federal level, the Justice and Police Act, with the support of more than 200 elected Democrats, also intends to create a national register of police officers who commit misunderstandings to facilitate judicial proceedings against officers and to rethink their recruitment and training.

However, the future of this text is highly compromised in the Senate, with a Republican majority.

Faced with this unprecedented mobilization since the civil rights movement in the 1960s, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced yet on Tuesday that he was accusing the only black Republican senator, Tim Scott, of reflecting on the president’s party on this issue.

After condemning a “sad and tragic” death, Donald Trump, who was a member of his constituency, emphasized a security speech, highlighting the violence committed in the margins of the protest.

With AFP