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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/george-floyds-brother-says-family-23952462?utm_source=mirror_newsletter&utm_campaign=12at12_newsletter2&utm_medium=email&pure360.trackingid=dc332faa-28fb-48e4-8537-38b9191e9675

George Floyd's brother says family finally able to 'breathe again' after guilty verdict

George Floyd's younger brother Philonise likened his killing to the 1955 lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till and said that the fight for justice was not over in an emotional statement after police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty

By Dave BurkeNews reporter

09:46, 21 APR 2021Updated09:48, 21 APR 2021

George Floyd's tearful brother said the murder victim's family could "breathe again" after killer police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty.  Former Minneapolis police officer Chauvin could face 40 years behind bars after his conviction, which US President Joe Biden has described as a "a giant step" toward justice.  In the aftermath of the historic verdict, Mr Floyd's younger brother Philonise told a press conference: "I get DMs, people from Brazil, from Ghana, from Germany everybody London, Italy, they're all saying the same thing: 'We won't be able to breathe until you're able to breathe.'  Today, we are able to breathe again."

Mr Floyd's six-year-old daughter Gianna was with family members as they described the impact of the verdict.  Philonise added the fight for justice was not over, saying: "We have to protest because it seems like this is a never-ending cycle."

Brother Terrence Floyd hailed the historic nature of the verdict, saying: "I will miss him, but now I know he's in history. What a day to be a Floyd, man."

In an interview with CNN, Philonise likened his brother's death to the 1955 lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till, saying: “But he was the first George Floyd.  But today you have the cameras all around the world to see and show what happened to my brother. Those emotions hit you, the world seeing his light being extinguished."

A 12-member jury found Chauvin, 45, guilty of all three charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter after considering three weeks of testimony from 45 witnesses, including bystanders, police officials and medical experts.  Chauvin pushed his knee into the neck of handcuffed Mr Floyd, 46, for more than nine minutes on May 25, 2020.  Mr Floyd repeatedly said 'I can't breathe' in footage of the murder that sparked protests across the world.

President Biden said: "It was a murder in the full light of day and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism.  This can be a giant step forward in the march toward justice in America."

Outside the courthouse, a crowd of several hundred people erupted in cheers when the verdict was announced - a scene that unfolded in cities across the country.  Car horns honked, demonstrators blocked traffic and chanted: "George Floyd" and "All three counts."

The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis said in a statement published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune that "there are no winners in this case, and we respect the jury's decision," adding: "We need to stop the divisive comments, and we all need to do better to create a Minneapolis we all love."

Under Minnesota sentencing guidelines, Chauvin faces 12-and-a-half years in prison for his murder conviction as a first-time criminal offender.  Prosecutors could seek a longer sentence of up to 40 years if Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill determines that there were "aggravating factors."  Cahill said Chauvin's sentencing was likely eight weeks away.  The Minneapolis Police Department fired Chauvin and three other officers the day after Floyd's murder.  The three others are due to face trial later this year on aiding-and-abetting charges.