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"Hear the street calls": George Floyd's brother calls for police reform

By AFP | June 11th 2020

"Put an end to the suffering" of African-Americans: George Floyd's brother launched a vibrant appeal to the United States Congress on Wednesday, imploring elected officials to adopt significant police force reforms.

Very moved, Philonise Floyd explained "not being able to describe the pain" felt by watching the video of her brother's ordeal, asphyxiated on May 25 in Minneapolis by a white policeman who knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.

"I am here to ask you to put an end to the suffering, to our exhaustion," he launched, before a parliamentary committee which, the day after the burial of George Floyd, dissected the reasons for the drama.

"Please listen to the calls coming up from the street," argued the forties, referring to the protests that have spread in the past two weeks across the United States, the largest since the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

Dressed in a gray suit, he called on parliamentarians to adopt the necessary reforms to ensure that law enforcement is "the solution, not the problem".

"Make them accountable when they do wrong, teach them to treat people with empathy and respect and teach them that lethal force should only be applied when a life is at stake", a- he listed.

His hearing, alongside representatives of the police and civil society, was organized by the judicial committee of the House of Representatives, with a majority of Democrats, to support a bill presented Monday, which aims to "change the culture "in the United States police.

"We cannot turn a blind eye to the racism and injustice that permeates our police force too much," said Jerry Nadler, head of the commission. "The nation demands that we act".

"Systemic racism"

After his hearing, fist raised to the sky, Philonise Floyd went to join the crowd beating the pavement in front of the White House to demand justice and far-reaching reforms within the approximately 18,000 police services that coexist in the United States (municipal police, county sheriffs, state patrol ...).

The demonstrators demanded in particular the end of the broad immunity enjoyed by the police.

At the cry of "Black Lives Matter", sometimes putting one knee on the ground, the demonstrators denounced the "police brutality" which disproportionately targets African-Americans.

Become one of the flagship gestures of this movement, reproduced by public figures and thousands of demonstrators around the world, the Football Federation announced Wednesday evening to repeal the ban on kneeling during the American anthem.

Faced with this anger and the positions of many personalities, companies and institutions, first measures have been taken at the local level: the Houston police will renounce the controversial practice of "strangling" when arresting suspects , that of Washington will no longer hire police officers with precedents of violence ...

In Minneapolis, police chief Medaria Arradondo denounced the collective agreement negotiated with the powerful police unions on Wednesday. It is not a question of "wages or benefits" but of "transparency", he explained, while this agreement has been accused of protecting police abuse for years.

At the federal level, the "Justice and Policing Act", supported by more than 200 mainly democratic elected officials, intends to create a national register for police officers committing blunders, facilitate legal proceedings against agents and rethink their recruitment and training.

But the future of this text is very compromised in the Senate, with a Republican majority.

Faced with this mobilization, the majority leader in the upper house, Mitch McConnell, however announced on Tuesday that he was charging the only black Republican senator, Tim Scott, to lead the reflection for the president's party on this subject.

After denouncing a "sad and tragic" death, Donald Trump, who is campaigning for his re-election, emphasized a security speech, emphasizing the violence committed on the margins of the protests.

On Wednesday evening, his rival for the November election, Joe Biden, denounced the "systemic racism" which plagues the United States and called to do "everything we can" to put an end to it.

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