George Floyd's brother says his 'death has sparked unity' and now is time for change

  • The brother of George Floyd speaks to Presenter Rageh Omaar

George Floyd’s brother says “his death has sparked unity” and is changing people’s lives, adding now is the time for reformation in the United States.

Speaking in his first UK broadcast interview, Philonise Floyd said he has had to get used to seeing his brother on television, in newspapers, and people talking about him, adding “it’s just life for me right now.”

He said his brother was loved by his family, his kids and everybody in the neighbourhood looked up to him.

George Floyd died while in police custody when a white police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes.

His death triggered worldwide protests, and a call for systematic racism to be addressed, not just within police forces but in society itself.

Mr Floyd told ITV News’ presenter Rageh Omaar: “He’s changing other people’s lives, around the world, because his death has sparked unity and that’s something this world has never had.

“We are one step closer to justice, and right now is the time, because when you look up and you see people protesting everyday, I’m living it and I understand we have a long way to go as America but we are going to get there, we just have to believe in each other.”

The interview came on the day President Donald Trump signed an executive order on police reforms, urging greater investment in training and community engagement.

But despite protesters' recent calls to 'defund the police', Mr Trump defended their role in society.

George Floyd's death has sparked protests around the world. Credit: AP

Benjamin Crump, the civil rights lawyer acting on behalf of the family, told ITV News the Floyd family is focused on getting “justice and systemic reform as the legacy of George Floyd.”

“Now is the time we have to take advantage of this moment, we cannot lose the moment… There are two justice systems in America, one for black America, one for white America, we need equal justice for the United States of America,” Mr Crump added.

He believes this is the best time he has seen in his life practising law where real change can happen.

The interview came just days after Mr Floyd's brother made an impassioned plea to Congress to help end the kind of police brutality that killed his brother.

“Enough is enough. The people marching in the streets are telling you enough is enough,” Mr Floyd said.

“George's name means something. If his death ends up changing the world for the better, and I think it will. Then he died as he lived. It is on you to make sure his death is not in vain.”

Mr Crump said the family want action not rhetoric and the next step is getting the executive order signed into law.

“This is a broken heart grieving family, we don’t want them used as a political football,” he added.