Philonise Floyd told “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King he was overcome with joy when a jury convicted fired police officer Derek Chauvin of murdering his brother George in May 2020.
“The moment I heard guilty, guilty and guilty, I was excited, I was happy,” he told King in Minneapolis Wednesday. “I got in the courtroom, I started praying. And I prayed for like, 30 minutes, because it took 30 minutes for the judge and the jury to come out.”
The evening of the verdict he told King, “I’ve never been this happy before — in a while. Sleepless nights, thinking about what was going on in that courtroom.”
“All I had in my head was, this is not just for George. This is for everybody around the world, people of color especially,” he said.
After about 10 hours of deliberations, a jury made up of seven women and five menof second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes.
For the last year, Philonise Floyd and his family were the focus of international attention, after the death of his brother wasthat sparked international outrage and a national movement for Black lives.
“This is a fraternity that I didn’t ask to be in,” Floyd said. “And unfortunately you have a lot of families, they need counseling, they need somebody to get out and speak for them because they may not be able to, because people in a lot of pain.”
And he is taking the fight for justice further. Floyd said his next steps would involve running The Philonise and Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change in order to hold those in power accountable.
“I’m turning my pain into purpose, to be able to get out and help others all across this world, not just here in Minneapolis, but everywhere in different countries too,” he said.
Floyd is now turning his attention to the family of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man who was killed by a police officer just 10 miles from the courthouse.
“Benjamin Crump, he has taken this case and he will get justice,” he said.
Crump, the Floyd family’s attorney and a noted civil rights lawyer said, “We can never get justice, but what we can get is accountability,” adding that the Floyd family has become “comforters and counselors” for Wright’s family.
Crump noted it was particularly “powerful” to see Chauvin’s fellow officers testify against him.
“You know, that was such an unusual moment,” he said. “Something I had never seen in my professional career.”
He hopes the guilty verdict would send a message about thein America.
“Our fervent prayer, part of George Floyd’s legacy, is that this would be a precedent,” Crump said. “What people in our community do all the time — if you see something illegal or unjust, they want us to tell.”
Crump added he hopes police officers will lead that effort by example.
After the verdict was read, he revealed how even the family’s jubilation was a tribute to George.
“Philonise’s family says it best — George would have said, ‘We just won this championship,'” he told Gayle King in the CBSN special “The Chauvin Verdict.” “And that’s what we started saying.”