It’s been just over a week since George Floyd was brutally killed by a white police officer who held a knee on his neck for over eight minutes. Since that day, protests have erupted across the nation.
Though one former officer has been charged with manslaughter and third-degree murder, critics contest that the charges are not harsh enough for the crime.
As police struggle to gain control over violent crowds and President Trump has called for the military to be deployed to stop “acts of domestic terror,” George Floyd’s brother, Terrence Floyd, delivered a riveting speech at the site of George’s murder.
As Terrence sobbed and knelt in prayer, two men on either side struggled to help the heartbroken brother maintain his balance.
Terrence is the first member of George’s family to visit the Minneapolis intersection where the fateful event occurred.
“I know y’all are upset,” said Terrence, in addressing the massive crowd surrounding him. “But if I’m not over here wilin’ out, if I’m not over here blowing up stuff, if I’m not over here messing up my community, then what are y’all doing?”
“What are y’all doing?!” repeated Terrence with forceful conviction in his voice. “Y’all doing nothing, because that’s not going to bring my brother back at all.”
The impassioned brother then likened the violent protests to drinking alcohol, explaining that while it may feel good momentarily, you’re going to regret its repercussions later.
Terrence went on to explain that though his family is grieved, they are choosing to go about this situation peacefully, and he pleaded that everyone else do the same.
“My family is a peaceful family. My family is God-fearing,” he continued. “Yeah we’re upset, but we’re not gonna be repetitious. In every case of police brutality, the same thing has been happening.”
“Y’all protest; y’all destroy stuff, and they don’t move. You know why they don’t move? Because it’s not their stuff. It’s our stuff, so they want us to destroy our stuff. So let’s do this another way.”
Terrence shared that the right way to respond to this heinous crime is to both educate ourselves and use our voices to vote.
“Let’s stop thinking that our voice don’t matter and vote,” he said. “Not just for the president, but vote for the preliminaries. Vote for everybody. Educate yourself. Don’t wait for somebody else to tell you who’s who. Educate yourself and know who you’re voting for.”
Once again, Terrence begged that the masses shift gears and “do this peacefully.”
He explained that these acts of violence are not what George would’ve wanted:
“I know he would not want y’all to be doing this,” said Terrence.
Finally, he went on to lead a chant with the crowd, crying out “Peace on the left, justice on the right,” as if to say both must go hand in hand.