George Floyd's family witnesses House pass police reform bill in Floyd's honor

The U.S. House has now passed an expansive police reform bill named in honor of George Floyd. We caught up with the Houston-native’s family, who was there in Washington D.C. for the vote.      

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act would alter the law in several ways including banning chokeholds, making it easier to hold officers accountable for misconduct, establishing a database to track police misconduct, and prohibiting racial and religious profiling.

READ MORE: House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

The Floyd family was there watching as Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and her colleagues passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

"If you can make federal laws to protect a bird, which is the bald eagle, then you can make federal laws to protect people of color," says Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd. He believes a law like this, which still has to pass the Senate, would have saved his brother.

"It’s a big hole in my heart, a big hole and it’ll be there forever and anybody who lost a loved one, especially as tragically as this, you know there will always be pain in your heart".   

The trial for Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin starts Monday with jury selection. Last May 2020 Chauvin was recorded with his knee on the neck of George Floyd for nearly nine minutes until he died, sparking worldwide outrage.

MORE: ‘Please, please I can’t breathe’: Man dies after being detained by Minneapolis police, FBI investigating

DETAILS: Minneapolis police officer involved in death of George Floyd taken into custody, charged

"We’re looking for a conviction because the video showed it all," says George Floyd’s sister-in-law Keeta Floyd. 

"I’m ok," adds Philonise while wiping away tears. "I’ve been doing this (crying) for some time today. I’m thinking about my brother as we talk about him. There’s no more Thanksgiving. There’s no more Christmas, Easter, nothing. We have to go to the grave to see him."

"We don’t want to see another family have to endure what we’ve gone through. It’s very painful. Philonise doesn’t speak much about it but he has a hard time sleeping. He has nightmares because he constantly re-visits in his mind the tragedy that happened with George," explains Philonise’s wife Keeta.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON GEORGE FLOYD AND THE TRIALS

In fact, Philonise says he can almost constantly hear his big brother’s screams, reminding him just how inhumanely he spent his last moments alive.

"He was like a pig just, just it was very difficult. The analogy I’m trying to make is it was like a slaughterhouse," says Philonise.

Although, he tries to block out those thoughts and remember his brother as a big guy with an even bigger personality.

"My mom used to always call him The Freak of Nature because he was too fast to be a tight end in football and he was too big to be a wide receiver. He was a freak of nature. He could do backward flips. He was great at everything."

'Black lives will rise': Family of George Floyd speaks at mural dedicated in his honor

National and local leaders, friends, and family gathered to honor Houston native George Floyd at his alma mater, Jack Yate High School.

Philonise also says it brings him comfort that his brother, as it turns out, is pretty great at uniting people around the world.

The Floyds will be in Minneapolis for the trial where the judge will only allow one family member in the courtroom.

"I wish we could all be in there. We need to be there to support one another. For me to have this opportunity to sit there and look at officers that killed my brother face to face this is something I need to do," says Philonise. 

The House passed a similar bill last summer that did not pass the Senate.