George Floyd's brother says he still has nightmares about his killing as Congress reintroduces the police bill

George Floyd's family is still in mourning four years after he was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer.

“(It's) absolute hell,” sister-in-law Keeta Floyd told CBS News. “They don't realize what's happening behind the scenes, with every life that has been lost since the death of George Floyd. It's extremely painful. It's a wound that never heals.”

Several members of the Floyd family joined members of the Congressional Black Caucus this week in calling for the reintroduction of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The measure, sponsored by Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, would implement stronger reforms to address police misconduct and strengthen accountability standards.

“We want this bill to pass, period,” Floyd's brother, Philonise, told CBS News. “We've been fighting for the same 2020 bill since my brother was killed. The day after the funeral, I came here to speak to Congress. Nothing has been passed. Every time you look up, they say, 'Oh, we're going do this, we're going to do that.'”

Before Republicans gained the majority, the House of Representatives twice passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act — both times while the House was under Democratic control, in 2020 and 2021. The bill limited qualified immunity for officers, prevented racial profiling and limited the use of excessive force. It collapsed in the Senate after bipartisan negotiations between New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker and Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina broke down. an offer to ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants and expand federal data collection efforts.

“We've had bills supported by the largest police union in the country, by chiefs associations across the country, by civil rights activists and more, but in the Senate because of the filibuster you need 60 votes to pass anything,” Booker said. CBS News. “And while I am confident that we have more than fifty votes to pass many common sense reforms, I still find it frustrating that we have not been able to introduce bills that reflect the changes being made in the red and blue states have been made.”

CBS News reached out to Scott's office for comment. Last year, the Republican senator gave a lengthy speech about police reform after the death of 29-year-old Tire Nicholswho was killed by Memphis police officers during a traffic stop.

“Too often, politics gets in the way of doing what every American considers common sense,” Scott said. “Here we find ourselves again… having the same conversation with no action taken yet.”

According to the National Conference of State LegislaturesNearly 400 police policy bills were passed last year, including measures related to officer training.

“Colorado said we're going to end qualified immunity, Connecticut said it, New Mexico said it,” Philonise Floyd said of several state laws that have gone into effect since his brother's death in 2020. “It's these other states that haven't have done. opened their eyes and saw what was happening. But what's going to happen is that as soon as it hits their front door, they're going to make change and then say, 'Hey, let's not be reactive, be proactive.”

President Biden signed an executive order in 2022 requiring federal law enforcement agencies to implement reforms and incentivizing state and local forces to improve police practices. In a statement, Jackson Lee said Congress must “do its part.”

“While we applaud the administration's efforts, this action is not as permanent or comprehensive as the reforms we can achieve through congressional action,” Jackson Lee said.

Floyd, 46, was killed after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes as Floyd gasped, “I can't breathe.” The incident, captured on video, sparked global protests and racial reckoning during the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. Chauvin was convicted and is currently serving a 22.5-year prison sentence.

Philonise and his wife say he still has nightmares about his brother's murder.

“He's in a mental health crisis himself,” Keeta explained. “They don't get to see that, how it tears families apart. They don't get to see that. You know, the world doesn't see that. And so we're healing. We're constantly healing.”

“I can't talk to my brother,” said Philonise, who called George “a beacon of hope.”

“All these families that are standing behind us, who don't know, who never had this, are standing for a reason, because they say our fight is your fight,” Philonise Floyd said. “George was my brother. Every mother said, 'That was my son.' So when people stand like that, they stand there for a reason, because they want people to be able to change these laws.”

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