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17-06-2020 | Conference extracts

Statement from Philonise Floyd to the United Nations Human Rights Council


June 16, 2020

Urgent Debate on Systemic Racism and Police Brutality in the United States

I thank you for holding this urgent meeting and for the opportunity to speak to you today. 

My name is Philonise Floyd and I am the brother of George Floyd.  On May 25, 2020, My brother was tortured and murdered by four police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the United States.

My brother was unarmed and was accused of passing a counterfeit $20.00 bill. 

The entire incident showing my brother’s murder was captured on camera. 

My family and I have had to watch the last moments of his life when he was tortured to death including the eight minutes and forty-six seconds one officer kept his knee on my brother’s neck.  My brother begged the officers for his life, cried out for our mama who was already dead, and said over and over again, “I can’t breathe.”

Even after my brother was unconscious, stopped moving, and stopped breathing, the officer kept his knee on my brother’s neck for another four minutes, as many witnesses begged the officer to take his knee off of my brother’s neck and save his life.

The officers showed no mercy, no humanity, and tortured my brother to death in the middle of the street in Minneapolis with a crowd of witnesses watching and begging them to stop- showing us Black people the same lesson yet again- Black Lives do not matter in the United States of America.

None of the police officers were fired for murdering my brother until masses of people in the United States and around the world protested the injustice.

When people dared to raise their voice and protest for my brother they were tear-gassed, run over with police vehicles, several people lost eyes and suffered brain damage from rubber bullets, and peaceful protestors were shot and killed by police.  Journalists were beaten and blinded when they tried to show the world the brutality happening at the protests. When people raise their voices to protest the treatment of Black people in America they are silenced- they are shot and killed.

My brother, George Floyd, is one of many Black men and women that have been murdered by police in recent years.  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.  That could have been me.  I am my brother’s keeper.  You in the United Nations are your brothers and sisters’ keepers in America, and you have the power to help us get justice for my brother George Floyd.  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.   


I hope that you will consider establishing an independent commission of inquiry to investigate police killings of Black people in America, and the violence used against peaceful protestors who are reminding the world that Black Lives Matter.

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