In an interview with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on Thursday, Philonise Floyd spoke about his brother, an unarmed Black man who died Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck, and the resulting protests that have erupted this week in the city.
The demonstrations turned violent in some areas, leading to looting and one person being shot and killed at a pawn shop. Philonise Floyd compared protesters to children who act out because they aren’t being heard and want attention.
“I want everybody to be peaceful right now, but people are torn and hurt because they’re tired of seeing Black men die. Constantly, over and over again,” he said.
He went on to call for the arrest of the police officers who were involved in the incident. The four unnamed officers were fired on Tuesday.
“These officers, they need to be arrested right now. They need to be arrested and held accountable about everything because these people want justice right now,” Philonise Floyd told Camerota, before explaining that justice to him meant “these guys need to be arrested, convicted of murder, and given the death penalty.”
“They need to. They took my brother’s life. He will never get that back. I will never see him again. My family will never see him again. His kids will never see him again,” he said.
Through tears, Philonise Floyd said that no one showed “compassion” in the resulting videos of the moments before, during, and after his brother’s death.
“It hurts a lot. I grew up with him. That was my oldest brother. I love him. I’m never going to get my brother back,” he said through sobs. “We need justice. We need justice. Those four officers need to be arrested. They executed my brother in broad daylight. People had to film that. People had to see that. People pleaded for his life ... Nobody should have to witness that.”
Philonise Floyd addressed the protests again, stressing that he doesn’t want people to “lash out like that, but I can’t stop people right now because they have pain.”
“They have the same pain that I feel. I want everything to be peaceful, but I can’t make everybody be peaceful,” he said.
On Wednesday, George Floyd’s sister Bridgett Floyd spoke to “Today” and also called for the officers involved to be charged.
“I would like for those officers to be charged with murder because that’s exactly what they did. They murdered my brother; he was crying for help,” she said, wearing a shirt reading, “I can’t breathe,” which is what her brother told the officers arresting him before he died.
Bridgett Floyd also stressed the importance of these officers being barred from working in another state.
“I don’t need them to be suspended and able to work in another state or another county. Their licenses should be taken away; their jobs should be taken away, and they should be put in jail for murder,” she said.
Also on Wednesday, Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey called on the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office to criminally charge the police officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck and “not turn a blind eye.”
“I’ve wrestled with one fundamental question: Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?” said Frey in a press conference. “If you had done it, or I had, you’d be behind bars right now. I’m calling on the Hennepin County attorney to charge the arresting officer in this case.”
Frey also stressed the need for justice for not only the Floyd family: “George Floyd deserves justice, his family deserves justice, the Black community deserves justice.”