Now that testimony has ended in the Derek Chauvin murder trial, George Floyd’s loved ones say they hope they are one step closer to justice.
Relatives who are there in Minneapolis are more than pleased with the case prosecutors put on, but they say they are cautiously optimistic about getting a guilty verdict.
"African Americans, we don’t get justice and hopefully this time and I have faith that we will get justice," says Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd.
Even as telling as the video is of Derek Chauvin pressing his knee into the neck of George Floyd until he dies, Floyd’s family members point out jurors don’t have the best track record of convicting cops who have killed minorities, even those caught on camera.
"Our justice system tends to fail Black America but I’m just remaining optimistic," adds Floyd’s Nephew Brandon Williams.
They hope this is a turning point in history.
"Like so many others, my brother he has a video. It was traumatizing for the world to just look at it. So the world feels if George gets justice it’s freedom for all," explains Philonise Floyd.
Herbert Mouton, who played basketball and football with George Floyd at Yates High School, is disappointed Derek Chauvin did not testify. He was hoping Chauvin would explain why he seemed to ignore so many heartbreaking pleas to stop.
"You have all these bystanders begging for Floyd's life, as well as himself. So I just want to know what was he thinking? What was going on? He doesn’t have any justification for what he did," says Philonise Floyd.
"You can just look at him in the courtroom, being several feet away from him and he has no remorse. He doesn’t even feel bad for what he did and I don’t respect that," adds Williams.
"Look at the video. The video is enough and it shows my brother was tortured to death as his soul was taken from him out of his body, slowly," Philonise Floyd explains.
"You just wish you could let him (Chauvin) feel everything that we feel and everything that my uncle feels in those nine minutes and twenty nine seconds. Hopefully around this time next week he’ll be where he belongs and hopefully it’s for a long time," says Williams.
"I feel like I’ve suffered so much trauma as a result of what happened to my brother. I can’t sleep. I have nightmares. I’ve never been in the military so I shouldn’t have PTSD. So for me to have sleepless nights, worried, thinking about my brother, it really is something nobody in America should have to go through. I started the Philonise and Keeta Floyd Institution For Social Change. We’re turning our pain into purpose. I just want to be able to make sure we can end this cycle (of inequality and injustice) because right now it feels like a never ending cycle," says Philonise Floyd.
Closing arguments in the Derek Chauvin murder trial are set for Monday. Then the jury will begin deliberating.