On May 25, 2020, former police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd as he begged out for help dying as a result of the violent interaction. One year later, Floyd’s family reflects on their loved one’s murder—the fatal moment that propelled protests against police brutality around the world despite a global pandemic.
“I have been through so much in this last year,” said Bridgette Floyd, sister of George Floyd, to PEOPLE. “I have no choice but to be strong and carry this weight, and carry this position that God has put me in. Because I didn’t see it coming. None of us did.”
She added, “A year has came around just that fast. I really thought that my brother’s death would be the last police brutality case. But as we all can see, they are added again and again and again.”
Members of George Floyd’s family, activists, community leaders, and other families who have lost someone to police violence and residents gathered at the courthouse in downtown Minneapolis for a rally on Sunday, reported NPR. Family attorney Ben Crump and the Rev. Al Sharpton both spoke during the event and called on the U.S. Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
“We want something coming out of Washington. We want something that will change federal law,” said Sharpton. “There’s been an adjournment on justice for too long. It’s time for them to vote and make this the law.”
On the same day in New York, George Floyd’s brother, Terrence Floyd, expressed similar sentiments as his sister.
“If you keep my brother’s name ringing, you’re going to keep everybody else’s name ringing. Breonna Taylor, Sean Bell, Ahmaud Arbery, you could go through the whole list. There’s a lot of them.”
President Joe Biden did not deliver a public address commemorating the year since the landmark event, however, he issued a tweet saying, “It’s been one year since George Floyd was murdered. In that time, George’s family has shown extraordinary courage. Last month’s conviction was a step towards justice – but we cannot stop there.
“We face an inflection point. We have to act.”
According to ABC News, the Floyd family, along with rapper Lil Baby, not only met with Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, but also House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Rep. Karen Bass on other lawmakers Tuesday morning before scheduled afternoon meetings with bipartisan senators to discuss the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
“What is important is, is that when it reaches President Biden’s desk it’s a substantive piece of legislation, and that is far more important than a specific date. We will work until we get the job done,” Bass said of the police reform bill.
Floyd’s brother, Philonise added, “We need Joe Biden, we need the Senate to get this taken care of because just like Gianna said — you’re daddy’s going to do what?,” as Floyd’s 7-year-old daughter responded, “Change the world.”
On April 20, Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter by a jury of his peers. The trial lasted weeks and included multiple, emotional testimonies by key witnesses, jargon-filled depositions by experts, and was concluded by 10 hours of jury deliberation over a two-day period.
Chauvin’s bail was revoked and he remains a Minneapolis jail until his sentencing expected to occur in late June. He faces up to 40 years in prison. The other officers involved, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao—were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. They will collectively be tried in August.