Apr 20, 2021
Ben Crump, George Floyd Family Press Conference Transcript After Chauvin Verdict
Ben Crump, Rev. Al Sharpton, and the family of George Floyd held a press conference on April 20, 2021, after the verdict of Derek Chauvin was announced. Chauvin was found guilty on all charges in George Floyd’s death. Read the transcript of the briefing here.
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Al Sharpton: (00:00)
… governor and others, we want to thank President Biden, who the first time he came out of his house during the campaign, he flew to Houston and met with the family and attorney Crump and I, and he sat there and I will never forget, he said to George’s daughter that, “I heard you say your father is going to change the world.” Well, we can now tell George’s daughter she was right. Her father has began the changing of the world for real.
Al Sharpton: (00:38)
But before we do anything, we first want to pray and thank God because somehow God may [inaudible 00:00:47] have mercy. We believe in a God that can even get through the cracks in the jury room and bring conscious and bring truth. And that jury, we want to thank them for letting God give them the strength. Wherever they are tonight, we want them to know we broke down in tears when we heard the verdict. We had to hold each other and hug and tears because too many nights we’ve cried. Many of us for decades, spent nights in jail. But today we can wipe our tears away and fight on for another day.
Al Sharpton: (01:23)
There’s sunlight. We’re going to keep going until we bring it for the Eric Gardeners and the Breonna Taylors, whose boyfriend is here tonight.
Speaker 1: (01:31)
Al Sharpton: (01:31)
Kenny Walker. Sean Bell. So many that did not get this night, this night is for them. Let us pray. Let’s lock arms and pray, like we kinfolks.
Speaker 3: (01:46)
Al Sharpton: (01:49)
Where … come on, Brandon. Where’s Philonise?
Speaker 2: (01:52)
Right here. Come on.
Al Sharpton: (01:57)
Yeah, come on. You and Rodney, come up front. Ain’t no use hiding now.
Al Sharpton: (02:03)
Al Sharpton: (02:06)
Brother Chris, get your next to the attorney general there. Let’s pray. Dear God, we thank you for giving us the strength to stand together. Sometimes we would question each other. Sometimes we say this is just going to be a waste of time. But somehow you touch us in the midnight hours and teach us to hold one and that if we would be faithful over a few things, you’d give us the victory over many. We thank you because we know it was not any doing of ours, but your loving kindness and your tend to mercy that made tonight possible.
Al Sharpton: (02:48)
Bless those that worked, that made this prosecution something they couldn’t deny. Bless those policemen that got on the stand and testified against another policeman. Bless the jury that listened to the evidence and didn’t listen to those that may criticize them for doing this. Bless the prosecutor, Keith Ellison and his staff that did their job even though they didn’t know what the outcome would be. Bless Ben Crump in a special way, that worked tirelessly, that jumped on planes and left his family to make sure that justice would rain down.
Al Sharpton: (03:31)
Thank you for all of the civil and human rights leaders that stood up. And we thank you for the nameless grandmas and grandpas that would get on their knees and ask you to give us a victory this time. And Lord, as we give You the thanks and give You the praise, let George know that his name is going down in history. They may have put their knee on his neck, but he will now be a figure that we will take the knees off our necks now. And we give You the praise, thank you. And God, we give You the glory. These blessings we ask in your name. Amen.
Ben Crump: (04:11)
Al Sharpton: (04:12)
Al Sharpton: (04:18)
Al Sharpton: (04:22)
Let me say that I want to bring on now a man who has symbolized the fight for justice. He didn’t seek the role, but he rose to the occasion. America for many years didn’t have someone to stand for us. The last four years, we didn’t have an attorney general’s office that would even hear our cry. But we had been raised to believe that God always has a ram in the bush. And God has a way of taking the most humble of people and raising them up. We had an attorney general in Black America that has represented these cases with the acumen and skill of one that was raised in the South, but came to claim this nation in a new direction. I bring you the attorney general for Black America, Ben Crump.
Ben Crump: (05:24)
Thank you, Reverend Al Sharpton, not only for your mentorship, not only for being a great civil rights leader, but for being a moral authority, especially making sure no matter what happened, that we always maintained the moral high ground, knowing that we were on the right side of history as we fought for justice for George Perry Floyd Junior. Say his name!
Ben Crump: (05:55)
I am but a member of a great team of very talented attorneys, and I’m going to acknowledge their … yeah, we got the Omega’s and the Kappa’s Reverend Jackson. And the Alpha’s in here.
Speaker 4: (06:10)
Ben Crump: (06:13)
I want to acknowledge these great group of lawyers and then the family members. Two or three of the lawyers will address you and then at that time we were here from the family members before we take any of your questions. I want to acknowledge a great lawyer from Chicago, Illinois, one of the best I’ve ever had a chance to work with, attorney Tony Romanucci.
Ben Crump: (06:47)
I want to recognize my partner on the front line in this case, one of the best lawyers at being on them. He hails from Atlanta, Georgia, attorney Chris Stewart. His law partner, attorney Justin Miller, attorney Madeleine Simmons. Great Minnesota lawyers, attorney Jeff Storms. Raise your hand Jeff! Attorney Michelle Gilboe.
Ben Crump: (07:22)
And who else we got here? Anybody else?
Speaker 5: (07:25)
Attorney [inaudible 00:07:28].
Ben Crump: (07:28)
We have attorney Scott Masterson, who’s not present. Attorney [Bovany 00:07:34]. I said Michelle, we got Michelle. All right. It’s just a great group of lawyers.
Ben Crump: (07:42)
And I want to let you know who we have present here with the family here in Minneapolis for this historic day. We have a George Floyd’s brothers, we have for Philonise Floyd, we have Rodney Floyd. We have Brandon Williams, who’s George Floyd’s nephew, but was more like a son to him. They call him [Woo 00:08:07] back in the third ward.
Speaker 6: (08:09)
Woo, Woo, Woo, Woo, Woo, Woo, Woo.
Ben Crump: (08:13)
We have Keeta Floyd, Philonise’s wife. We have-
Speaker 7: (08:18)
[crosstalk 00:08:18] Terrence.
Ben Crump: (08:18)
Where Terrence at?
Speaker 8: (08:18)
Ben Crump: (08:19)
Terrence, [inaudible 00:08:20], where you at?
Ben Crump: (08:22)
Ben Crump: (08:23)
We got Terrence Floyd. His sisters, who are not with us, but we should absolutely acknowledge, Bridgett Floyd, who hails from North Carolina. His sisters, LaTonya and Zsa Zsa, who hail from Houston, Texas. We have his cousins, Shareeduh McGee, Tedra McGee, and Tera Brown. And we have the mother of his daughter, Gianna Floyd. We have Roxie Washington and we have Gianna.
Ben Crump: (08:59)
And so I’ll make some brief remarks and then we’re going to have attorney Stewart-
Speaker 9: (09:06)
Speaker 10: (09:06)
We have Angela and cousin Paris.
Ben Crump: (09:12)
Angela, cousin Paris-
Speaker 11: (09:14)
Yes, and uncle [crosstalk 00:09:16]
Ben Crump: (09:16)
And his uncle Selwyn.
Speaker 12: (09:17)
Ben Crump: (09:20)
All right. Anymore Floyd family? I know it’s a big crew.
Ben Crump: (09:23)
Ben Crump: (09:23)
Speaker 13: (09:23)
Ben Crump: (09:29)
AD, the man he came to Minneapolis with, [Adadara 00:09:33].
Ben Crump: (09:34)
So I’ll make some brief remarks and then we’re going to have attorney Stewart and attorney Romanucci make some brief remarks. And then we’re going to hear from this family. And we’re going to try to leave here today knowing that America is a better country. America, let’s pause for a moment to proclaim this historical moment, not just for the legacy of George Floyd, but for the legacy of America. The legacy of trying to make America for all Americans so that George Floyd’s victory and America’s quest for equal justice under the law would be intertwined.
Ben Crump: (10:39)
America, let’s frame this moment as a moment where we finally are getting close to living up to our Declaration of Independence, that we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equally, that they’re endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that amongst them are life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Well, America, that means all of us. That means Black people, that means Hispanic people, that means Native people, that means Asian people. That means all of us America. We frame this moment for all of us, not just for George Floyd. This is a victory for those who champion humanity over inhumanity. Those who champion justice over injustice. Those who champion morals over immorality.
Ben Crump: (11:43)
America, let’s lean in to this moment and let’s make sure, Reverend Al, that this moment will be documented for our children yet unborn as they continue on the journey to justice, knowing that the blood of George Floyd will give them a trail to find a way to a better America, a more just America, a more just America where Breonna Taylor gets an opportunity to sleep in peace at night without the police busting in her front door. A more just America where Ahmaud Arbery gets to run free and not be lynched for jogging while Black. A more just America where Jacob Blake and Anthony McClain and Walter Scott and Laquan McDonald, and all these other Black men, Terence Crutcher, who was shot in the back while running away like Daunte Wright was just a week ago, because for some reason, Black men running away from the police is more dangerous than young white men who commit mass murders and walk towards the police with an assault weapon, like Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Ben Crump: (13:26)
America, let this be the precedent. Let this be the precedent where we live up to the high ideals and the promises when we say liberty and justice for all. Those sun kissed children are included in all. Those children who overcame slavery, the Middle Passage, the Dred Scott decision, Plessy v. Ferguson, Jim Crow, and his much smarter, wiser, and signed Jim Crow Jr. Esquire. Let this be the precedence where we overcome systematic racism and oppression. And that we are a better people and we will leave our children a better world, a better world for us all.
Ben Crump: (14:28)
At this time, we will here from a great lawyer, because nobody does this alone, it’s always a team effort. And we have the lawyers, the preachers, the civil rights leaders, the education leaders, the activists! Let’s give big round of applause for the activists, the people who stayed in the streets, the people who came nationally, but more importantly, the people who were here locally, who were standing up for George Floyd on 38th in Chicago Avenue day in and day out. [Silky 00:15:11] the people who wouldn’t go home, wouldn’t stay quiet. Reverend Jackson, the people who followed your example.
Speaker 14: (15:19)
Don’t forget about the witness. Donald Williams.
Ben Crump: (15:20)
Donald Williams. Donald supposed to be here.
Ben Crump: (15:22)
Ben Crump: (15:22)
Speaker 5: (15:22)
Ben Crump: (15:32)
So, we love you, Donald. Without further ado, my brother, attorney Chris Stewart. And Tony, you coming up next.
Al Sharpton: (15:44)
Chris Stewart: (15:53)
Speaker 15: (15:54)
Ben Crump: (15:58)
Steve [inaudible 00:15:58] suit’s in full effect.
Chris Stewart: (16:01)
The first thing that happened when-
Chris Stewart: (16:03)
The first thing that happened when we heard the verdict is that we all teared up and embraced. So don’t confuse these tears thinking that they are sorrow, because those were the tears that happened to African Americans when they’re pulled over constantly on the side of the road and know they can’t get help. Those are the tears of the victims that we’ve seen time and time again, be shot in the back, choked over loose cigarettes or killed for no reason and justice never comes. Those are the tears that someone will weep tomorrow when they are taken advantage of in an interaction with law enforcement. But today, the tears are pure joy. Pure joy and pure shock because days like this don’t happen. The whole world should not have to rally to get justice for one man.
Chris Stewart: (16:54)
But that’s what happened. This wasn’t a city case. This wasn’t one family’s case. This was the entire world’s case and justice finally came. But it shouldn’t have to be so hard to attain this level of justice in cases like this when we can see with our own eyes, the only difference is the color of the skin. And that’s the change that we all want. That’s not a change that’s outrageous. Yes, law enforcement have a dangerous job. They have to carry a spear and a sword and a shield. But all too often, African Americans only get the spear or the sword. We need more of the shield. Because this is not a case against every officer. My life was saved by two law enforcement officers years ago. So I will never throw every cop under the bus, but we will put more cops in jail when you kill someone for no reason just because they’re black. And we can find a unifying purpose between law enforcement and the African-American community by changes, starting with the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act. A beautifully written bill that will help protect the community and solve policing. And the main question is, will we let politics divide us? Because that’s what happens. Republican or Democrat, you’re going to stick to your side. Unify, as Ben has been saying, as Rev has been saying, and get this bill passed and save people so that you don’t have to board up your own cities for situations like this.
Chris Stewart: (18:23)
And if not, we’ll see you next time when it’s time to vote. You’ve seen what’s happened across this country. And we shouldn’t have to be so happy when we finally get one. But we are in celebration for Gianna, for Roxy who has stood strong this entire time, for the brothers and sisters, for the activists like Tamika and everybody out here, for this entire group. And it wouldn’t have happened without every single one of you all, white or black, people out there praying for this family, getting love and support. And we love all of you all. Let this be a changing point in America for policing in a positive way and let’s unify. Thank you, my brother.
Ben Crump: (19:02)
I love you, man. Attorney Tony Romanucci from Chicago, Illinois.
Tony Romanucci: (19:15)
Good afternoon, everybody. As Ben said, my name is Tony Romanucci. I’m smiling here today, not for myself, but really for the entire country and for the world that’s watching. I know that on behalf of the family and for everyone who’s here today, that we stand here before you feeling a tremendous amount of joy and eternal hope. For me, 36 years ago, I was a young public defender in Cook County. Reverend Jackson, I know you know that place very well. And that’s where I was introduced to the marginalization of black and brown people. And for now, this is the 36th year I’ve seen it come through. I really feel that this country has turned a corner, but I’m going to tell you, it was a tough corner to turn and it couldn’t have been done… And I’m going to reach out to you all, the press, for spreading the message for the strength and wisdom of Ben Crump.
Tony Romanucci: (20:19)
You you, Reverend Al Sharpton, Reverend Jackson, the attorneys, Chris, Justin, Madeline, Jeff Michelle, Pavani, Nicolette, Ian, all the teams in all the cities in this country, the Attorney General and the magnificent prosecution team. They did it. They tied up every loose thread for that jury. They let them follow it right through. They showed them how to prosecute and how to convict. And we are so grateful. But make no mistake, we are not done. The George Floyd Policing and Reform Act must pass the Senate.
Tony Romanucci: (21:05)
We now know that today, police can and will be held accountable for needless death. This death never should have happened. George should have been alive somewhere with his daughter, Gianna, playing on a playground. From now on, everyone’s on notice that police will be held accountable, but we will be held accountable too. This whole country should be held accountable, but police, especially. I am so thankful to all of you. I am hopeful for a greater America, for a great vote of confidence. I will tell you that Speaker Pelosi called us not once today, but twice. Our speaker is a great leader. She is somebody that wants to see this through. We have a great president who wants to see this through. We have one little hiccup in between. Let’s get this passed the Senate. Let’s get justice in America once and for all and forever.
Tony Romanucci: (22:08)
One last comment. I met a young lady yesterday. Her name was [Lomaia 00:32:03]. She said one thing to me that I promised her that I would repeat today. Lomaia is not part of the Floyd family, but she is part of the Wright family. And she said one thing and I promised her, I would say it today. We are all God’s children. Thank you, Lomaia.
Ben Crump: (22:37)
Thank you, Tony. And I know Speaker Pelosi called, we need to acknowledge when we were over at the court house, as we were leaving, I got one of those calls and we stopped everything. It was Chris and Philonise and Roxy, all of us, Justin, as we’re walking out, we stopped in mid-sentence because President Joe Biden called to talk about what a moment this was for America and how we have to use this moment to build on. So we want to acknowledge President Biden, acknowledging that we are all a better America today. Isn’t that what he said? And we got so many good staff people to thank, Jim McGough and Michelle, Edna, Roma, all these people who’ve been working in the van yards, supporting our lawyers, Silky, everybody.
Ben Crump: (23:40)
But briefly, we can’t be in Minneapolis and not have a representative. Jeff and Michelle want to come up and say a word? Our great Minnesota co-counselor Jeff Strong and Michelle
Jeff Stong: (23:58)
So I just briefly want to say, I love this city. I love this state. And no longer can we be known for these massively infamous failures in civil rights. We owe our children and our community more. From this moment further, from this conviction now, we have to be leaders in this country on civil rights. And everyone standing up here will work tirelessly until that happens. And I challenge everybody else in Minnesota to make that same effort. Thank you.
Ben Crump: (24:40)
Okay. Thank you Jeff. Can I get everybody take a step back. Let’s try to make the podium. Let’s try to make the podium. Just everybody take a step back. We’re going to have the family come up. Okay. We’re going to have the family come and try to greet you all. You got to backup too. The camera’s trying to get the podium. Yeah. Right now, we going to bring up a man who, when you all first met him, Tony, I remember, all he could do was cry because he was heartbroken. He was heartbroken because remember, so many times we are… It’s a case to us, Tamika it’s a cause. To my son it’s a hashtag, but to them, this was their flesh and blood. They slept in the bed with George. The stories that they tell, you know this was a close family. He tells those stories, Reverend, how he used to pee on George.
Ben Crump: (26:22)
He has become so dignified and articulate in expressing not just the fight for justice for his family, not just the fight for justice for black America, but he really has become so articulate in saying, we have to fight for all Americans. Mr. Philonise Floyd.
Philonise Floyd: (26:57)
My nephew, he called me baby Al. Jesse calling me Steve Harvey. But man, I feel relieved today that I finally have the opportunity for hopefully getting some sleep. A lot of days that I prayed and I hoped, and I was speaking everything into existence. I said, I have faith that he will be convicted. It’s been a long journey. And it’s been less than a year. The person that comes to my mind is 1955. And to me, he was the first George Floyd. That was Emmett Till. I did, on CNN, with Debra Watts and she just brought him back to life. People forgot about him, 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. It was a motion picture, the world seen his life being extinguished. And I could do nothing but watch, especially in that courtroom over and over and over again, as my brother was murdered.
Philonise Floyd: (28:35)
Time, they getting harder every day. Ten miles away from here, Mr. Wright, Daunte Wright. He should still be here. We ought to always understand that we have to march. We will have to do this for life. We have to protest because it seems like this is a never ending cycle. Reverend Al always told me, we got to keep fighting. I’m going to put up a fight every day because I’m not just fighting for George anymore. I’m fighting for everybody around this world. I get calls. 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.
Philonise Floyd: (29:44)
Ms. Garner, I told you, we’ll get justice and we still we’re going to fight for you too. We’re going to fight for everybody. Thank you all so much for just giving us this time because we’re here and we’re not going anywhere. And I want to thank all the protestors, all the attorneys who stepped up, all the activists who stepped up, and many who think they’re not activists, but advocates, thank you all. Because justice for George means freedom for all.
Ben Crump: (30:18)
All right. Terrance Floyd. We will have Terrance Floyd, George’s brother from New York City. Reverend Floyd.
Terrence Floyd: (30:43)
I’m not going to preach today.
Ben Crump: (30:43)
You’re not going to preach today?
Terrence Floyd: (30:44)
No. Oh man. So many emotions right now, but I’m very thankful and grateful. Grateful for the people in this world for the support of the press, the love that was shown, whether you sent it by social media or whether you sent it emails or however, we just appreciate the love. I appreciate the team, the Crump law team. I call him unc. We built a bond, a relationship through this whole journey. I appreciate him. He would call me, I’m all the way in New York. He’ll call me and check up on me and ask me if I’m all right, because I’m the only one up there. Everybody else is down south. But, he never thought a robbery to check up on me. And I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful for Reverend Sharpton. He been fighting a long time. Long time, man. Reverend Jesse Jackson. It’s a lot of history here-
Terrence Floyd: (32:03)
Reverend Jesse Jackson. It’s a lot of history here.
Ben Crump: (32:04)
Yes, it is.
Terrence Floyd: (32:06)
History is here. This is monumental. Reverend Jesse Jackson, I was shocked when they lived to see this. Their fight wasn’t in vain. It just didn’t happen when they did it, but it happened now. And they here to see it and be proud of it. It goes back to when he did that prayer service. My family is a family that will not back down from prayer. And I believe because of prayer, we got the verdict we wanted. We got on our knees. Some of us stood up, but we asked the right person. We asked the right one.
Ben Crump: (33:04)
Yes, come on God.
Terrence Floyd: (33:06)
We said, God, we need justice. We need it now. And he answered. Oh man. I’m just grateful. I’m grateful that my grandmother, my mother, my aunt, they just got to see this history made. I’m grateful my brother’s not here. I’m grateful and I’m proud of him. I will salute him at every day of my life. I would salute him because he showed me how to be strong. He showed me how to be respectful. He showed me how to speak my mind. I’m going to miss him. But now I know he’s in history. What a day to be a Floyd, man. Thank you.
Ben Crump: (34:13)
Thank you, Terrence. Now we were here from George’s baby brother, Rodney Floyd.
Rodney Floyd: (34:25)
I’m going to say this first. I would like to thank all the advocates, the activists. I’d like to thank the people that stayed in these streets, marching night and day. People in Portland stayed on the streets, what, 83 days? I think I may be wrong, but thankful for everybody that stayed out there, making a statement with us and cared about us in our dark days, dark nights. We had them. And we got so many messages flooding in from social media sites. Can’t read them all, there’s so many. But thank everyone, each and everyone. So many people at grocery stores who walk in. We hear from the elders. I believe in respecting the elders. Giving you guys all to respect, men and women. And I hear them walk up in the grocery store, stopped me. I’m masked up, a hat and a mask, and they say, “Man, I recognize the side of your face. Let me talk to you. I know who you are.”
Rodney Floyd: (35:15)
And they’ll stop and hold a great conversation, telling me what they experienced as a child, what they saw, and what they need to change. And they say, “We are here for you.” And this is everywhere I go, my brother go, we all go. And thank you, people, for the love in the streets. I’m thanking everyone because we couldn’t have did this. And this is the victory for all of us. There’s no color boundary on this. This is everyone who was being held down or pinned down.
Rodney Floyd: (35:41)
And you know what, people? We standing together in unity. And this right here, I’d like thank to our team. This the attorney, Ben Crump, his team, [inaudible 00:35:50]. The witnesses. Donna Williams. I would like to thank the jury. I mean everybody. Thank God. All day, God almighty, thank you. And you know what, people? We not done yet.
Rodney Floyd: (36:02)
And my brother George, he smiling. His beautiful daughter’s here. [Giana 00:36:07], baby, you’re so beautiful. You’re so smart. Roxy, you have my heart, baby. Thank you for holding Giana and keeping us strong. I know how hard it is. I know I hard it is. We’d like to thank everyone that helped out in this case. Thank this jury for having a heart and mind sets that we all seen in this video, because we know this video was an open and shut case. Everybody knows this video and know what the jury had the same mindset we all had, guilty as charged. Like to thank them. I would like to thank, again, everybody, the press and all.
Rodney Floyd: (36:40)
But for George, this fight is not over. We going to stand here together. We going to try to get this George Floyd Act passed. The act has to be passed, people. It has to be. We going to keep pressure on the Senate, everybody. Thank y’all all for coming. George, I know that he love all y’all. Thank y’all.
Ben Crump: (37:00)
All right, Roger. And next we going to have a man who… him and George used to text each other all the time. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson, they always talk about [inaudible 00:37:17] Houston, Texas. Back there, Roxy, I think y’all call him [Woo 00:37:22]. We’re going to hear from Brandon Williams, was like a son to George.
Brandon Williams: (37:27)
It was a very emotional day for me, and I already out of words. I’m overwhelmed with joy, but I do want to start by saying thank you. First off, thank you to all you guys advocating, protesting in the middle of a pandemic, putting your lives and safety on the line. We appreciate that. Especially to our legal team, Ben, Tony, Justin, Chris, Justin back here. Definitely, definitely thank you to Keith Ellison and his team. I think they did an amazing job from start to finish. All of the evidence, all of the witnesses, everything proved exactly what we saw in that video. But yet, we still questioned the decision of the jury. And I wonder why. Oftentimes, the system fails us, as black men and women in America. With all evidence there, everything pointing to a guilty verdict, we somehow still don’t get the guilty verdict. Or in some cases, I got my good friend, Kenny Walker back here. We don’t even get charges.
Brandon Williams: (38:59)
So today is a pivotal moment for America. It’s something this country’s needed for a long time now. And hopefully today is the start of that. When I say a pivotal moment, we need change in this broken system. It was built to oppress us. It was built against us. Oftentimes, we see people who are supposed to protect and serve. Supposed to protect and serve. They do the total opposite.
Brandon Williams: (39:40)
On the first day of trial, Rev. Sharpton, we had a press conference. And we kneel for eight minutes and 46 seconds. And when I got up and it was my turn to speak, I said that every time I come out here, it’s hard because it’s the exact place where they took somebody from me that I love. And I absolutely dislike coming here. But I also said this time it was easy. So we came for one thing and one thing only. That was justice for George Floyd. And today that’s what we got.
Brandon Williams: (40:24)
So this time it wasn’t hard at all. It wasn’t hard at all. I’m big on faith and prayer. I had a lot of faith, but I was also optimistic. We need police reform bad. These guys are able to wear a badge and go out in the field, which means that they’re qualified and trained to do their job at a high level. But when you shoot and kill a man that’s running away from you that doesn’t pose a threat, either you’re not qualified and under-trained, or it’s a choice and you want to kill black men and women. It’s either one or the other.
Brandon Williams: (41:13)
And I think today, Keith Ellison and his team proved that just because you are a law, you’re not above the law. We need each and every officer to be held accountable. And until then, it’s still scary to be a black man and woman in America encountering police.
Brandon Williams: (41:37)
So when I say today is a pivotal moment, it’s a chance for America to take a turn in the right direction and right a lot of wrongs so that we don’t keep adding to these names. So that little girls and boys like Giana are not growing up fatherless. So their families don’t feel the pain we feel. It’s a lot of sleepless nights. No family should go through that. And hopefully, our country take a turn in the right direction today. And this day in history proves that it was a turning point. Thank you.
Ben Crump: (42:21)
We’re going to hear from just a few more family members, and then we’ll try to get to your questions, but I’d be remiss because Brandon said I got acknowledge his man Cliff, who worked for us. And he talked about Kenny Walker. Chris, as we talk about all the brothers, we can never forget that they’re killing black women as well. And so we got to remember Breonna Taylor, we got to remember [inaudible 00:42:49] Jefferson. We got to remember Sandra [inaudible 00:42:51]. And we know Tamika Mallory. May 13th, Pam Turner. In a couple of weeks, we’re having a March for black women in Baytown, Texas. Because if you was outraged, when you saw the video, how George Floyd got killed by the police, then you should be equally outraged when you see the video of how they killed Pam Turner, an unarmed black woman laying down on her back, that he shot in the face, in the chest, and in the stomach. Justice for George Floyd means freedom for us all, like [inaudible 00:43:26] said. So that’s why we fighting for Pam Turner.
Ben Crump: (43:28)
With that, we’re going to bring up people who come from that Harris County, Texas area, cousins of George Floyd, Sharita McGee, and Tara Brown.
Sharita McGee: (43:44)
Well, first of all, let me just say that my cousins and Woo have pretty much covered everything. There’s really not a whole lot left for me to say. I just really want to echo the sentiments of them, that when we started this journey almost a year ago, that we were committed to doing a couple of things. One thing is to ensure that justice was served and that we were going to be here and visible and present and actively involved until we saw it through. We are standing strong in our faith. We relied on it in other areas of our life, and this time was no different. And we prayed to God and we expected our prayers to not come back void, and he delivered for us today.
Sharita McGee: (44:27)
So we are eternally grateful for everyone, from the press, to the activists, the attorneys, the prosecution team, everyone. We have so many people that we want to thank that I just really feel like we’re probably going to leave somebody out, but I just hope that you will charge it to my head and not my heart because we sincerely appreciate everything that everybody has done. And we thank you.
Ben Crump: (44:52)
Tara Brown: (44:54)
Thank you. Wow. I’m really overwhelmed with emotion, and I just am grateful for this day. It’s been a journey, for sure. And this victory for George Floyd today is a victory for many. And when we started this journey, like my sister said, we are committed to making sure… We know we’ll never get George back. And that’s the sad part, but we are fighting, and we’re going to continue to fight because we’ve all, individually and together as a family, had that conversation that if we could have been there with George on that day, there probably would have been more than one death. But we couldn’t be there. So we can’t bring him back, but we can save lives. And we want the actual reform that’s going to not only give us the change we want, but make sure not another family has to suffer what we’ve suffered. Thank you all. My sister touched on everything. We have an amazing team here who have helped us along this journey. We’re so grateful for everyone who has supported us along the way. We’re forever grateful to you and we love you all. Thank you.
Ben Crump: (46:19)
Thank you, Tara. So we’re going to hear from two more cousins, and then we’re going to hear last from the family, Roxy and Giana are going to come. And then Reverend Al may have Reverend Jackson and others address you. At this time, we’re going to have Angela and Paris come, cousins of George Floyd.
Angela Harrolson: (46:54)
Hello, I’m Angela Harrolson. I’m actually George Floyd’s aunt, and this is the cousin here. So anyway, I just want to say that this has been a hard road, not just for the family, but for everybody. And I want to especially thank the Minneapolis community for holding it down at the George Floyd Square. Jeanelle Austin, Jeanette Rupert, Maya Washington. These are community leaders that held it down at that place. They kept that place sacred for everyone to go there to express their condolences. And so we appreciate that. And this verdict is a verdict that is well needed, and it’s overdue.
Angela Harrolson: (47:40)
And I want to say to the people around the world that is listing, it was a darkness. On May 25th was a very, very dark day. There was a lot of pain, and there was a lot of hatred. But I want to say at the same time that I got a chance to witness something. I got a chance to witness the love that I saw-
Angela Harrolson: (48:03)
I got a chance to witness the love that I saw around the world that was poured to the family. I don’t know if I will ever see that again in my lifetime, but I’m glad that I got a chance to see the love that you have shown me, my family, and everyone, because you’ve touched us. And I want to say thank you. And I’m so glad about this day. Thank you.
Speaker 16: (48:31)
I just want to thank everyone again. All the family up here has basically said the same thing. So I just want to thank you. Thank you to the community. You all are very special to me. You’re just like family, and I appreciate you at the square.
Angela Harrolson: (48:50)
Yes. Thank you.
Speaker 16: (48:51)
So I’ll leave you with the statement that I always say. You have to keep walking the walk.
Angela Harrolson: (48:57)
Speaker 16: (48:59)
The journey isn’t over. So, continue to pray for us. Pray for everyone, and keep walking the walk.
Angela Harrolson: (49:07)
Yes. And I want to say one more thing. We must not let his death be his last word. Thank you.
Ben Crump: (49:18)
You okay? Okay, alright. What’s your last name?
Tiffany Hall: (49:21)
Ben Crump: (49:23)
And lastly, we’re going to have Tiffany Hall, a sister-in-law of George Floyd.
Tiffany Hall: (49:29)
I just want to thank everyone for all the support. We couldn’t do this without you guys. And we appreciate all the time and energy that you guys have put in to help us get this justice. Just know that this is the beginning, we still have a lot of other families we need to fight for. And we hope and pray that this will speak volume, and will have a change in this world and we won’t have to add any more families with our families. Okay? So we’re really hoping that this will bring on a change. Thank you guys, and…
Ben Crump: (50:02)
Thank you, Tiffany.
Tiffany Hall: (50:02)
Thank you, guys.
Ben Crump: (50:07)
Now, we will have Reverend Al come back to the podium and acknowledge some important individuals. And then we’ll go ahead and take questions. Reverend Al Sharpton.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (50:20)
Let me say this, before we have questions. I think that it is appropriate that we respect those that laid the path for us and let us always remember those that cleared the field and made us possible. Movements didn’t start with us. We’re a continuation of movements before us, and they will be continued until freedom. [inaudible 00:50:55] May we hear from my mentor, the Reverend Jesse Jackson.
Reverend Jesse Jackson: (51:10)
Reverend Al. [inaudible 00:51:13]
Reverend Al Sharpton: (51:12)
Reverend Jesse Jackson: (51:13)
We’re here about a $20 bill. We never saw the $20 bill. Store who had called the police about $20 bill still operates. That store should be a museum. Right now they’re profiting from people who’re coming to George’s memorial. Dr. King once said, [inaudible 00:51:37] in our faith and proud to live under the law. [inaudible 00:51:42] was killed in 1955, jurors were out an hour, came back [inaudible 00:51:50] cigarette. That’s why it was a short. Well, [inaudible 00:52:01] asked the juror, “Why did you… a convicted killer, you knew who he was. Bragged about he’d taken his wife.” He said, “I could not imagine going to jail for killing a [other 00:52:13].” That was 55 years [inaudible 00:52:14] now it’s 2021. Things are changing. We’re where the Mississippi river started from now, it’s time for a fundamental change.
Reverend Jesse Jackson: (52:22)
I want to thank, who we lost [inaudible 00:52:25] the incomparable [inaudible 00:52:25] Ben Crump. Ben, we thank you so much.
Ben Crump: (52:29)
Thank you, Reverend
Reverend Jesse Jackson: (52:31)
[inaudible 00:52:31] one saying that when things first jumped off and Jim was killed, George was killed, Al and I flew in and went and met Mr. Freeman who had the case, he believed it couldn’t happen. [inaudible 00:52:46] it never happened before. We urged him to try, Lt. Governor, Attorney General Keith Ellison. Keith took the case and had to call the shots the first day. He got the legal team, tested the jurors, whole process led by Keith Ellison. They say he’s 30% African-American, Keith Ellison. A 1% Samoan African-American Congresswoman. [inaudible 00:53:25] Minnesota, a state with very proud traditions, Brother Ben.
Ben Crump: (53:31)
Reverend Jesse Jackson: (53:32)
[inaudible 00:53:32] it’s not just about Black and White, it’s about wrong and right. Minnesota had massive protests marched by White citizens of this state who stand for justice and jobs. This is the state of Hubert Humphrey who led the struggle [inaudible 00:53:47] 1964, state of [inaudible 00:53:54] It’s the state of those who fought down through the years. When I think about Omar, being the Congresswoman, 1% Samoan [inaudible 00:54:07] 50% Black.
Reverend Jesse Jackson: (54:08)
Now, the people in the state have been silent too long must stand up speak back, fight back. It’s time for a change. I want express my thanks to all of you who’ve come here from the media to cover this story. People on the team of Keith are Black and White, and we must learn to live together as brothers [inaudible 00:54:36] We live and we will live together.
Reverend Jesse Jackson: (54:38)
I want to express my thanks to Marc Morial of the Urban League and all those who’ve come together today, because we’re going to keep marching. [inaudible 00:54:46] for brother Wright. And we’re relieved but we can’t celebrate because the killings keep coming. I hope the case today has broken the backbone of Legalitia. This case should break the back bone of Legalitia, militia with the law. We have to change that. Thank you very much.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (55:14)
Lastly, before we get to the question and let me acknowledge again Tamika, [inaudible 00:55:22], Reverend Jamal Bryant and all of the young people that keep it going. Ain’t no sun between these generations. Anybody thinks so get up and work out with me in the morning. National President of the National Urban League Brother Marc Morial.
Marc Morial: (55:43)
Thank you very much. Thank you. First of all, I want to be brief, but let me co-sign, amen and reaffirm all that has been said today. This conviction rests on the courage of a young girl, a young woman who had the audacity to see an injustice and to pick up a 21st century device known as an iPhone. And to tape that injustice, that murder taking place on the streets of this city. This conviction rests on the courage of young people, old people, Black people, White people, Jews, Gentiles, Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, straight, LGBTQ, of all races, creeds and colors who last summer, when they saw the tape that this young girl made, the outrage went from Minneapolis all the way across this globe. And this conviction rests on the competence and conviction of an attorney general named Keith Ellison.
Speaker 17: (57:10)
Marc Morial: (57:12)
Who had the wherewithal to put together a perfect prosecution. And this conviction rests on the steely determination and dignity of the Floyd family. The Floyd family who withering with the death of their loved one stood before cameras, testified before Congress, time and time again. I’ll say this, this fight to pass the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act has now stepped to a new level. We call on the United States Senate. We call on who? The United States Senate to forthwith, without delay, without filibuster, to pass the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act and not to water it down. George Floyd, we mourn his loss. May he rest in peace and may he rest in power. But let us understand that this is but a moment and this battle, this fight, this work for justice must proceed.
Reverend Al Sharpton: (58:39)
As Attorney Crump comes back for your Q&A, let me thank those businessmen that supported early in this. Tyler Perry that provided transportation planes for the family and all of us. Robert Smith, the millionaire/billionaire who gave private planes for us throughout the whole thing. Chuck Phillips, I want to thank all of them. And I want to thank Rachel Noerdlinger for helping with communications and the whole team at National Action Network that back me up and make me think good. And the pride I have, our baby-daughter Ashley is with me to make history tonight, and Dominique at home with my grandson. But now you can ask the Attorney General of Black America what you want to ask.
Ben Crump: (59:26)
Do we want to defer to President Biden or not?
Reverend Al Sharpton: (59:30)
Yeah, go ahead.
Ben Crump: (59:31)
Okay. Hey, you all, if you have questions, you can get them to us. I understand that President Biden may be waiting to address the nation. He wanted to give respect to the family. I do want to acknowledge the…
Speaker 18: (59:47)
Texas Coalition of Black Democrats.
Ben Crump: (59:49)
… Texas Coalition of Black Democrats who are helping push the George Floyd Justice Act. So at this time, if you have questions you can get with press@ bencrump or Jennifer McGuffin or Reverend Al. We want to be respectful to the President and let him address what he wants to address. Thank you.