tv George Floyds Family Remarks on Verdict in Derek Chauvin Trial CSPAN April 21, 2021 1:41am-2:32am EDT
>> let me also thank aaron eldridge, part of our trial team who is not here today, lola velasquez, thank you for the wonderful job you did. josh larson, thanks so much, my friend. zuri, thank you. natasha robinson, i want to thank you and the next generation, the next generation of justice seekers. dion, thank you very much. boswell, thank you. i want to thank so many people. we are going to close our comments right now and just say we are prepared to continue to pursue justice. thank you.
when ben crump called, we remember that he said "i can't breathe" 11 times. the family came, and this family has stood together for the last 11 months, watching this video go over and over again. this family stood with pain, suffering and not knowing what the future held because so many families went and got nothing. they thanked god when they got the indictment, which would not have happened had not the attorney general, keith ellison, took this. [applause] and keith ellison thought and put together a team that made this possible.
this is the first time in the history of the state of white police officer has been convicted, less convicted of a murder. this is the first time in a long array of fights that we have seen three counts guilty in all three. we do not find pleasure in this, we didn't celebrate a man goin to jail. we would rather george be alive, but we celebrate that we -- because young people, white and black, many that are here tonight marched and kept marching. many of them looked down on but they kept marching.
this is an assurance to them that if we don't give up, we can win some rounds. but the war in the fight is not over. just two days from now we are going to have the funeral for daunte wright in the same county, the same area. we still have cases to fight, and we are determined that we are going to fight until we make federal law, the george floyd justice and policing act. it must be law. we want to thank all who are involved but especially the attorney general and the governor. we want to thank president biden, the first time he came out of his house during the campaign he flew to houston and met with the family and attorney crawford and i, and he sat there and i will never forget. he said to george's daughter, i heard you said your father is
going to change the world. well, we can now tell george's daughter she was right. her father has began the changing of the world for real. but before we do anything, we first want to pray. and thank god. because somehow god made a way. we believe in a god that can even get through the cracks in the jury room and bring conscience and truth. that jury, we want to thank them for letting god give them the strength, wherever they are tonight, we want them to know we broke down in tears when we heard the verdict. we had to hold each other and hug in tears tonight. we cried, many of us for decades, but today we can wipe our tears away and fight another day.
we will keep going until we bring it for the eric garner's, breonna taylor's -- whose boyfriend is here tonight. so many that did not get this night, this night is for them. let us pray. let us lock arms and pray like we kin folks. you and ronnie, come on. brother chris, let us pray. dear god we thank you for giving us the strength to stand together. sometimes we would question each other, sometimes we would say this would just be a waste of
time. but somehow you touch is in the midnight hour. and teach us to hold on. and if we would be faithful over a few things, you would give us a victory over many. we thank you because we know it was not any doing of ours, but your loving kindness and your tender mercy that made this night possible. bless those that worked, that made this prosecution something they could not deny. bless those policeman that got on the stand and testified against another policeman. bless the jury that listened to the evidence and did not listen to those that may criticize them for doing this. bless the prosecutor, keith ellison, and his staff that did their jobs even though they did not know what the outcome would
be. bless ben crump, who worked tirelessly to make sure justice would rain down. thank you for all of the civil and human rights leaders that stood up. and we thank you for the nameless grandmas and grandpa's that we get on their knees and ask you to give us a victory this time. and lord, as we give you the thanks and the praise, let george know that his name is going down in history. they may have put their knee on his neck, but he will now be a figure that we will take the knees off our necks now. we give you the praise, thank you, and god, we give you the glory. these blessings we ask in your name. amen. >> amen! [applause] reverend sharpton: let me say
that i want to bring on now a man who has symbolized the fight for justice. he did not seek the role but he rose to the occasion. america, for many years, did not have someone to stand for us. the last four years, we did not have an attorney general's office that would even hear our cry. but we have been raised to believe that god always has a way of taking the most humble of people and raising them up. we had an attorney general of black america that has represented these cases with the acumen and skill of one that was raised in the south but came to claim this nation in a new direction. i give you the attorney general for black america, ben crump. mr. crump: thank you, rev. al
sharpton, not only for your mentorship, not only for being a great civil rights leader, but for being a moral authority, especially making sure that no matter what happens, that we always maintain the moral high ground, knowing that we were on the right side of history and we fought for justice for george perry floyd, jr. say his name! >> george floyd! mr. crump: i am part of a great team of talented attorneys. and i want to acknowledge these great group of lawyers and the family members. two or three of the lawyers will address you and at that time we
will hear from the family members before we take any of your questions. i want to acknowledge a great lawyer from chicago illinois -- one of the best i have ever had a chance to work with, attorney tony romanucci. i want to recognize my partner on the front line, one of the best lawyers, he hails from atlanta, georgia. attorney chris stewart. his law partner, attorney justin miller. attorney madalyn simmons. attorney jeff starnes.
and who else do we have in here? anybody else? scott masterson who is not present. i said michelle, we got michelle. and just a great group of lawyers. i want to let you know who we have present here with the family here in minneapolis for this historic day. we have george floyd's brothers, philonise floyd, rodney floyd, brandon williams who was his nephew but more like a son to him. they call him woo back in the third ward. we have tina floyd, philonise's wife. we have terrence floyd, his
sisters who are not with us but we should acknowledge, bridgett floyd of north carolina, his sisters who hail from houston texas, his cousins, and tara brown. we have the mother of his daughter, gianna floyd. we have roxy washington. and we have gianna. [applause] i will make some brief remarks and we will have attorney stuart -- oh! angela, cousin -- uncle. any more floyd family? i know it is a big group. [laughter]
i will make some brief remarks and then we will have attorney stuart and attorney romanucci make some brief remarks. then we will hear from this family, and try to leave here today knowing that america is a better country. america, let us pause for a moment to proclaim this historical moment not just for the legacy of george floyd, but for the legacy of america. the legacy of trying to make america for all americans.
so that george floyd's victory, and america's quest for equal justice under the law would be intertwined. america, let us frame this moment as a moment where we finally are getting close to living up to our declaration of independence, that we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equally, they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that amongst them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. america, that means all of us, that means black people, hispanic people, native people, asian people, that means all of us, america. we frame this moment for all of us, not just for george floyd.
this is a victory for those who champion humanity over inhumanity. those who champion justice over injustice. those who champion morals over immorality. america, let's lean into this moment. and let's make sure that this moment will be documented for our children yet unborn, and they continue on the journey to justice knowing that the blood
of george floyd will give them a trail to a more just america. a more just america where breonna taylor gets the opportunity to sleep in peace at night without the police busting in her front door. a more just america where ahmaud arbery gets to run free and not be lynched for jogging while black. a more just america where jacob blake and anthony maclean and walter scott and laquan mcdonald and all these other black men, terence crutcher, who was shot in the back while running away like daunte wright was just a week ago. because for some reason, black men running away from the police is more dangerous than young white men who commit mass murders and walk for the police with an assault weapon, like kyle rittenhouse in kenosha, wisconsin.
america, let this be the precedent. let this be the precedent were relieved up to the high ideals and promises when we say at liberty and justice for all. those sunkissed children are included in all. those children who overcame slavery, the middle passage, the dred scott decision, plessy v ferguson, jim crow, and his much wiser son, jim crow jr. esquire. let this be the precedent where we overcome systematic racism and oppression. and that we are a better people and we will leave our children a better world.
a better world for us all. at this time, we will hear from a great lawyer. because nobody does this alone, it is always a team effort. we have the lawyers, the preachers, the civil rights leaders, the education leaders, the activists. let's give a big round of applause for the activists! [applause] the people who stayed in the streets, the people who can me nationally, but more importantly for people who were here locally who were standing up for george floyd on 38th and chicago avenue. date in and day out. -- day in and day out. people who follow your example.
donald -- [indiscernible] we love you, donald. my brother, attorney chris stewart. >> the first thing that happened when we heard the verdict was we all teared up. and embraced. so don't confuse these tears thinking that they are sorrow. because those were the tears that happened to african-americans when they are pulled over on the side of the
road and know they cannot get help. those are the tears of the victims we have seen be shot in the back over loose cigarettes -- choked over loose cigarettes, i just never comes. -- and justice never comes. those of the people who will weep tomorrow when they are taken advantage of in an interaction with law enforcement. but today the tears are pure joy and shock because things like this don't happen. the whole world should not have to rally to get justice for one man but that is what happened. this was not just a city case, this was not one family's case, this was the entire world's case. but it should not be so hard to obtain justice with our own eyes that it -- the only difference is the color of our skin. that is the change we all want. yes, law-enforcement have a dangerous job, they have to carry a sword and a shield, but
all too often african-americans only get the spear or the sword. we need more of the shield. this is not a case against every officer, my life was saved by two law enforcement officers years ago so i would never throw every cop under the bus, but we will put a cop in jail if you kill someone for no reason but they are black. we can find a unified purpose between law-enforcement and the african-american community by changes starting with the george floyd justice in policing act, a beautifully written bill that will help protect the community and solve policing. the main question is, will we let politics divide us? republicans and democrats will stick to their side, unify and get this bill passed and save people so you don't have to board up your own cities for situations like this. if not, we will see you next time when it is time to vote.
you have seen what happened across this country. we should not have to be so happy when we finally get one, but we are in celebration for gianna, for roxy, for the brothers and sisters, for the activists, for this entire group. it would not have happened without all of you, white and black people out there giving love and support, and we love all of you all. let this be a changing point for america for policing in a positive way. [applause] mr. crump: attorney tony romanucci from chicago, illinois. [applause] >> good afternoon, everybody. my name is tony romo new chief. -- tony romanucci.
i am smiling here not for myself but for the entire country in the world that is watching. i know on behalf of the family and everyone here today, that we stand here before you feeling a tremendous amount of joy and eternal hope. for me, 36 years ago i was a young public defender in cook county. reverend jackson, i know you know that plays well. that is where i was introduced to the marginalization of black and brown people. for now, this is the 36th year i've seen it come through. i feel the country has turned a corner. i will tell you it was a tough corner to turn. and it could not have been done -- i am going to reach out to you all, the press, for spreading a message, for the strength and wisdom of ben crump, to you, rev. al sharpton, reverend jackson, the
attorneys, all of the teams and all of the cities in this country, the attorney general and the magnificent prosecution team. they did it, right? >> they did. >> they tied every loose thread for that jury, they showed them how to prosecute and how to convict. and we are so grateful. but make no mistake, we are not done. the george floyd policing and reform act must pass the senate. we now know that today, police can and will be held accountable for needless death. this death should have never happened, george should have been alive with his daughter gianna playing on a playground. from now on, everyone is on notice that police will be held accountable.
we will be held accountable too. this whole country should be held accountable. the police especially. i am so thankful to all of you. i am hopeful for a greater america, for a great, great vote of confidence. i will tell you that speaker pelosi called us not once today but twice. our speaker is a great leader. she is somebody that wants to see this through. we have a great president who wants to see this through. we have one little hiccup in between. let us get this passed the senate. let us get justice in america once and for all forever. one last comment, i met a young lady yesterday. she said one thing to me that i promised i would say today. she is not part of the floyd family, but she said one thing that i promised i would say
today. we are all god's children. thank you. mr. crump: thank you, tony. after speaker pelosi called, we need to acknowledge when we were in the courthouse and we were leaving, i got one of those calls, we stopped everything. it was chris and philonise, all of us. we stopped mid sentence because president joe biden called to talk about what a moment this was for america. and how we have to use it to build on. we want to acknowledge president biden acknowledging that we are all a better america today. isn't that what he said?
and we have got so many good people to thank, michelle, roma, all of these people working supporting our lawyers. but briefly, we can't be in minneapolis and not have a representative, jeff and michelle want to come up and say a word. our great minnesota hometowns, jeff starnes, michelle. >> i briefly want to say i love this city and this state. no longer can we be known for these massively infamous failures in civil rights. we owe our children and our community more. from this moment further, from this conviction now, we have to be leaders in this country on
civil rights. and everyone standing up here will work tirelessly until that happens. i challenge everybody else in minnesota to make that same effort. thank you. [applause] mr. crump: thank you. everybody take a step back. let us try to make the podium -- everyone take a step back, we will have the family. we are going to have the family come up. okay. we are going to have the family come and try to greet you all. the camera is trying to get the podium.
right now, we are going to bring up a man who, when i first met him, tony, i remember all he could do was cry. he was heartbroken. because remember, so many times, it is a case test. it's a hashtag. but to them, this was their flesh and blood. they slept in the bed with george. the stories they tell, you know this was a close family. they tell the stories of how he used to pee on george. [laughter] and he has become so dignified
and articulate in expressing the fight for justice for his family, not just the fight for justice for black america, but he really has become so articulate in saying we have to fight for all americans. mr. philonise floyd. [applause] philonise: my nephew is calling me baby al. he's calling me steve harvey. [laughter] i feel relieved today that i finally have the opportunity to get some sleep. a lot of days that i prayed and i hoped and i was speaking everything into existence, i said i have faith that he will be convicted. [applause]
it has been a long journey. and it has been less than a year. and the person that comes to my mind is 1955. he was the first george floyd, that was emmett till. i was on cnn with deborah watts, and she brought him back to life. people forgot about him. but he was the first george floyd. but today, you have the cameras. all around the world to see and show what happened to my brother. it was the motion picture, the
world seeing his light be extinguished. and i could do nothing but watch, in the courtroom over and over again as my brother was murdered. times, they are getting harder every day. 10 miles away from here, mr. wright, daunte wright, he should still be here. we have to always understand that we have to march. we have to do this for life. we have to protest because it seems like this is a never ending cycle. reverend al always told me we got to keep fighting. i am going to fight every day, because i'm not just fighting for george anymore, i'm fighting for everybody in the world. i get calls and dms from brazil,
ghana, germany, london, italy. they all say we won't be able to breathe until you are able to breathe. today we are able to breathe again. [applause] ms. garner, i told you, we will get justice. we are going to fight for everybody. thank you all so much for giving us this time. because we are here and we are not going anywhere. i want to thank all of the protesters, all of the attorneys who stepped up, all of the activists who stepped up. and many who think they are not activists but advocates, thank you all. justice for george means freedom for all.
[applause] mr. crump: we have terrence floyd, george's brother from new york city. terrence: oh, man. so many emotions right now, but i am thankful and grateful. grateful for the people in this world, the support of the press, the love that was shown on social media or through emails or however. we appreciate the love of the team, the crump law team.
we built a bond, a relationship. i appreciate them. he will call me, i am in new york and he will check on me. i am the only one up there, everyone else is in houston and down south. he checked up on me and i'm grateful for that. i'm grateful for reverend sharpton. he been fighting a long time. long time. man, reverend jesse jackson. there is a lot of history here. history is here, this is monumental. [applause] reverend jesse jackson, al sharpton, they lived to see this. there fight was not in vain --
their fight was not in vain. it did not happen when they did it, but they are here now to see it and be proud of it. they go back to when they did the prayer service. my family is a family that will not back down from prayer. i believe because of prayer, we got the verdict we wanted. we got on our knees, some of us stood up, but we asked the right person, the right one. we said, god, we need justice, we need it now. he answered. i'm just grateful.
i'm grateful that my grandmother, my mother, my aunt got to see this history made. i'm grateful and proud of my brother. i will salute him every day of my life. he showed me how to be strong. he showed me how to be respectful. he showed me how to speak my mind. i'm going to miss him. but now i know he is in history. what a day to be a floyd, man. [applause] thank you. mr. crump: now we will hear from george's baby brother.
>> i would like to thank all the advocates, the activists, the people who stayed in the streets marching night and day, people who stayed in the streets for 83 days. people who cared for us in our dark days, our dark night. we got so much from social media sites, i cannot read them all, but thank each and everyone. so many people in grocery stores, i believe and respect the elders, men and women. i hear them walk up in grocery stores, i have a mass, and they say, i recognize the side of your face. we stop and have a great conversation, they are telling me what they experienced as a child, and what they need for
change. this is everywhere i go, my brother goes, we all go. thank you for the love in the streets. this is a victory for all of us. there is no color barrier. this is everyone held down. we stand together in unity. i would like to thank our team. ben crump, the witness sees, i would like to thank the jury, thank god. we are not done yet. and people, we are not done yet. my brother george, he is smiling. his beautiful daughter is here, gianna. you are so beautiful and smart. you have my heart, baby. thank you for holding gianna and keeping her strong. i know how hard it is. i would like to thank everyone,
and thank this jury for having the hearts and minds. we have all seen this video. everybody knows this video. and the jury had the same mindset we all had -- guilty as charged. i would like to thank everyone, the press and all. but for george, this fight is not over. we are going to stand together, we are going to try to get this george floyd act passed. the act has to be passed, people. we are going to keep pressure on the senate, everybody. thank you, all, for coming. [applause] mr. crump: next, we have a man who, him and george used to text each other all the time. congresswoman sheila jackson lee always talks about hughie holmes, in houston texas.
we will hear from brandon williams, who was like a son to george. >> thank you. thank you to all of you guys advocating, protesting in the middle of a pandemic, your safety on the line, we appreciate that. especially to our legal team, tony, justin, chris, just in here. thank you to keith ellison and his team. [applause] they did an amazing job, from start to finish. all the evidence, the witnesses, everything prove exactly what we saw in that video. but yet, we still questioned the decision of the jury. and i wonder why? oftentimes, the system fails us as black and and women in america. all the evidence, everything into a guilty verdict, we
somehow still don't get the guilty verdict. or in some cases, i have my good friend walker back here, we don't even get charges. >> right. brandon: so today is a pivotal moment for america. it is something this country has for a long time now. and hopefully, today is a start. we need change in this broken system. it was built to imprison us. it was built against us. oftentimes, we see people who are supposed to protect and serve, supposed to protect and serve. they do the total opposite. on the first day of trial, we had a press conference and we kneeled for eight minutes at 46
seconds. and when i got up and it was my turn to speak, i said that every time i come here, it is hard. because this is the exact place where they took somebody from me that i loved. i absolutely dislike coming here. but i also said, this time, it was easy. we came for one thing and one thing only and that was justice for george lloyd. -- george floyd. and today, that is what we got. [applause] so this time, it wasn't hard at all, it wasn't hard at all. i am big on faith and prayer. i had a lot of faith. but i was also optimistic. we need police reform badly.
these guys are able to wear a badge and go out into the field, which means they are qualified and trained to do their job at a high level. but when you shoot and kill a man that is running a way that doesn't pose a threat, either you are not qualified and undertrained, or that is a choice and you want to kill black men and women. it is either one or the other. and i think today, keith ellison and his team proved, just because you are the law, you are not above the law. we need each and every officer to be held accountable. and until then, it stays scary to be a black man or woman in america on account of police. so when i say today is a pivotal moment, it is a chance for america to take a turn in the
right direction and write a lot of wrongs, so that little girls and boys like gianna are not growing up fatherless, so their families don't feel the pain we feel. it is a lot of sleepless nights. no family should go through that. hopefully, our country will take a turn in the right direction today, and this day in history proves that there was a turning point. thank you. [applause] mr. crump: we are going to hear from a few more family members and get to your question. brandon said i have to acknowledge his man, cliff, who worked for us. [laughter] he talked about kenny walker, and we can never forget that they are killing black women as
well. so we have got to remember breonna taylor, atiana jefferson and sandra bland, and may 13, pam turner. in a couple of weeks, we are having a march for black in baytown, texas. we saw the video of how george floyd got killed by police and if you were outraged, you should be equally outraged when you see the video of how they killed pam turner, and unarmed black woman that he shot in the face and chest and stomach. just as george floyd means freedom for us all, that is why we are fighting for pam turner. we are going to find people who come from the harris county, texas area where george floyd comes from, sherita mcgee and taryn brown.
>> let me just say that my cousins pretty much covered everything. there is not a lot left for me to say. i just want to echo the sentiments of them that when we started this journey almost a year ago, we were committed to a couple of things. one thing was to ensure justice was served and that we were going to be here and visible in present and involved until we saw it through. we are a family with strong faith. we have relied on it and other areas of our lives, and this time was no different. we prayed to god and we expected our prayers not to come back void, and he delivered to us today. we are eternally grateful to everyone, from the press to the activist's, attorneys, prosecution team, everyone. we have so many people that we want to thank that i just feel like we will probably leave somebody out, but i hope you
will charge it to my head and not my heart. because we sincerely appreciate everything everybody has done, and we thank you. >> thank you. [applause] >> i am overwhelmed with emotion, and just am grateful for this day. it has been a journey, for sure. and this victory for george floyd today is a victory for many. when we started this journey, we were committed to making sure -- we know we will never get george back, and that is the sad part, but we are fighting and are going to continue to fight because we have all individually, and together as a family, had the conversation that if we could have been with george on that day, there probably would have been more than one death.
but we couldn't be there. so we can't bring him back, but we can save lives. and we want the actual reform that is going to not only give us a change, but make sure not another family has to suffer what we have suffered. thank you, all. my sister touched on everything. we have an amazing team who has helped us along this journey. we are so grateful to everyone who supported us along the way. we are forever grateful to you, and we love you all. thank you.they spoke to reporter about 30 minutes. >> good