'What are you doing?' George Floyd's brother makes powerful plea to protesters

·3-min read

George Floyd’s brother has pleaded for peace in the streets amid the anti-racism protests, telling demonstrators destruction is “not going to bring my brother back at all”.

Terrence Floyd made the emotional plea at the site where the 46-year-old was pinned to the pavement by an officer who put his knee on the handcuffed black’s man neck for several minutes.

“Let’s switch it up, y’all. Let’s switch it up. Do this peacefully, please,” Terrence said.

The crowd chanted, “What’s his name? George Floyd!” and “One down, three to go!” in reference to the four officers involved in Floyd’s arrest.

Terrence Floyd (C) attends a vigil where his brother George Floyd was killed. Source: Getty Images
Terrence Floyd attends a vigil where his brother George Floyd was killed by police one week ago. Source: Getty Images

The officer who dug his knee into Mr Floyd’s neck, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with murder, but protesters are demanding that his colleagues be prosecuted, too. All four were fired.

Live blog: George Floyd protests sweep across US

The gathering was part rally and part impromptu eulogy as Terrence urged people to stop the violence and use their power at the ballot box.

“If I’m not over here messing up my community, then what are you all doing?” he said.

“You all are doing nothing. Because that’s not going to bring my brother back at all.”

The country has been beset by angry demonstrations for the past week in some of the most widespread racial unrest in the US since the 1960s.

 Terrence Floyd is seen wearing a mask with George Floyd's face on it during his speech.
Terrence called for peace and justice after his brother's death, thanking those who continue to protest and imploring people to cease the damage and destruction which has followed. Source: Getty Images

Spurred in part by Floyd’s death, protesters have taken to the streets to decry the killings of black people by police.

While most of the demonstrations have been peaceful, others have descended into violence, leaving neighbourhoods in shambles, stores ransacked and cars burned, despite curfews around the country and the deployment of thousands of National Guard members in at least 15 states.

While police in some places tried to calm tensions by kneeling or marching in solidarity, officers elsewhere were accused of treating protesters with the same kind of heavy-handed tactics that contributed to the unrest in the first place. Cities struggled to keep police in line.

Demonstrators are seen chanting in front of a fire and graffitied signs in Washington, DC. Source: Getty Images
Police work to keep demonstrators back during a protest in Washington, DC. Source: Getty Images

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, an officer was suspended for pushing a kneeling woman to the ground during a protest. In Atlanta, two officers were fired after bashing in the window of a car and using a stun gun on the occupants. In Los Angeles, a police SUV accelerated into several protesters, knocking two people to the ground.

Trump told the nation’s governors in a video conference that they they “look like fools” for not deploying even more National Guard members.

“Most of you are weak,” he said.

Meanwhile, an autopsy commissioned for Floyd’s family found that he died of asphyxiation from neck and back compression, the family’s attorneys said.

That distinguishes it from the official autopsy, which said he died from the effects of being restrained along with underlying health problems and potential intoxicants in his system.

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