‘We are able to breathe again’: George Floyd’s family reacts to Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict

Chauvin found guilty Tuesday on all 3 charges in Floyd’s death

Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, attends a news conference outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on Monday, April 19, 2021, before the murder trial against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin advances to jury deliberations. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, attends a news conference outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on Monday, April 19, 2021, before the murder trial against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin advances to jury deliberations. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

For the first time since his brother was killed, Philonise Floyd said he will finally be able to get some rest.

On Tuesday afternoon, a jury returned three guilty verdicts against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who killed George Floyd on May 25 after kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes. Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter and faces up to 75 years in prison.

“Today, we are able to breathe again,” Philonise Floyd said.

But, while the Floyd family may have received some justice for the death of their loved one, Philonise Floyd couldn’t help but think about other Black families who never got justice.

“And the person that comes to my mind is (Emmett Till),” Philonise Floyd said. “People forgot about him, but he was the first George Floyd.”

Philonise Floyd also invoked the memory of Daunte Wright, who was killed by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

“Times, they’re getting harder every day,” he said. “Daunte Wright should still be here. We have to always understand we have to march. We will have to do this for life.”

The family thanked the public for their support throughout the trial. They were also called by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris shortly after the verdict.

George Floyd’s family members said they will continue fighting for justice for Black families.

“We’re here and we’re not going anywhere,” Philonise Floyd said.

The verdict set off jubilation around the city. People instantly flooded the surrounding streets downtown, running through traffic with banners. Cars blared their horns.

The jury of six white people and six Black or multiracial people came back with its verdict after about 10 hours of deliberations over two days.

Chauvin’s face was obscured by a COVID-19 mask, and little reaction could be seen beyond his eyes darting around the courtroom. His bail was immediately revoked and he was led away with his hands cuffed behind his back. Sentencing will be in two months.

Read more:

‘Justice’: LeBron, Mahomes, rest of pro sports world reacts to Derek Chauvin verdict in George Floyd’s murder trial

San Antonio-area elected officials respond to verdict in George Floyd case


About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.