WASHINGTON – George Floyd’s brother will testify before a key House committee next week, as lawmakers scramble to respond to nationwide protests demanding an end to police violence against African Americans.
Philonise Floyd will talk about his brother’s death during a hearing Wednesday on police brutality and racial profiling, the House Judiciary Committee spokesperson Shadawn Reddick-Smith told USA TODAY.
George Floyd died gasping for breath while a white Minneapolis policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. A video of Floyd’s death, taken by a bystander, has ignited days of protests across the United States. Amid the national outrage, the officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged with second-degree murder and three other officers at the scene have been charged with aiding and abetting.
On Saturday, Floyd’s family, friends and community members packed a church near Fayetteville, North Carolina, where Floyd was born.
“A movement is happening today, and George Floyd sparked that fuel,” Rev. Christoppher D. Stackhouse said in a eulogy at the service. “He sparked the fuel that is going to change this nation.”
Philonise Floyd’s appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, first reported by ABC News, comes as congressional Democrats are set to unveil legislation Monday aimed at addressing some of the concerns raised by protesters.
“What happened with George Floyd is so heartbreaking,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters Thursday. She said it marked “an inflection point” that could herald meaningful change.
Pelosi said the legislation would address inequalities in the justice system, racial profiling and excessive use of force, among other problems.
“We will not relax until that is secured, that justice is secured,” she said.
It’s unclear if Floyd will testify in person or virtually because of social distancing recommendations amid the coronavirus pandemic.