‘Today we are able to breathe again.’ George Floyd’s family reacts to Chauvin verdict

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Tanasia Kenney, Hayley Fowler, Maddie Capron
·3 min read
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The family of George Floyd celebrated with clenched fists and tears of joy Tuesday afternoon after a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty in Floyd’s death.

Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter and led out of the Minneapolis courtroom in handcuffs after the verdict was read.

Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, praised the decision as a step in the right direction.

“I feel relieved today that I finally have the opportunity to hopefully get some sleep,” he said with a smile, referencing the emotional toll the trial has had on the entire Floyd family. “I prayed, and I hoped and I was speaking everything into existence. I said, ‘I have faith that he’ll be convicted.’ “

Courteney Batya Ross, George Floyd’s girlfriend, thanked a crowd in Minneapolis, saying “his spirit is here with you and his big arms are reaching around everybody that’s here and giving y’all a big, big, big, big hug.”

“Keep yelling. Don’t let anybody put your voice down in life,” Ross said. “Keep it up. Today, it’s a moment to celebrate. I want everyone to just take a night to be glad that we have one day of victory. And the battle is going to continue, we know that. But one day, we can just celebrate and be happy today.”

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Rodney Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, said on MSNBC he was “feeling tears of joy.”

“No family in history ever got this far,” he told the media outlet. “We were able to get a guilty charge on all counts. We got a chance to go to trial and we took it all the way.”

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Rodney Floyd also thanked activists for staying out marching in the streets and thanked the jury.

“The fight is not over,” he said. “We’re going to stand here together.”

Terrence Floyd, also one of George Floyd’s brothers, said the verdict was an act of history.

“‘History is here, this is monumental,” he said. “We said, God, we need justice and we need it now, and He answered. My family is a family that will not back down from prayer. And I believe because of prayer, we got the verdict we wanted.”

Terrence Floyd added that he will miss his brother, “but now I know he’s in history. What a day to be a Floyd, man.”

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