Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, a Black man who died earlier this week after a white police officer pinned him down with his knee for several minutes, said he just wants justice for his brother.
A video of Monday’s incident shows George, who was unarmed, pleading with Minneapolis police officers, saying “I can’t breathe” while pinned to the ground, before becoming unresponsive with the officer’s knee still on his neck.
He was pronounced dead at a local hospital later on Monday.
Protests have since erupted across the United States as anger over his death intensified, with some demonstrators gaining access to a police precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota and setting sections of the building on fire.
On Thursday, Philonise said the protesters “have the same pain that I feel”.
“I want everybody to be peaceful right now but people are torn and hurt because they’re tired of seeing black men die constantly, over and over again,” Philonise told CNN.
“I understand and I see why a lot of people are doing a lot of different things around the world. I don’t want them to lash out like that, but I can’t stop people right now. Because they have pain. They have the same pain that I feel. I want everything to be peaceful, but I can’t make everybody be peaceful. I can’t. It’s hard.”
The four officers involved in Monday’s incident were swiftly fired, but Floyd’s family, community leaders and residents are calling for arrests to be made.
Hundreds of protesters marched in downtown Minneapolis for a third night on Thursday, demanding justice and an end to police violence.
“Say his name. George Floyd,” protesters chanted. “I can’t breathe.”
While the protests have started peaceful, they have descended into chaos with reports of looting, arson and vandalism.
Police have used tear gas and non-lethal projectiles to disperse the crowds, drawing anger from local residents.
A large fire was seen near the third precinct of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) on Thursday.
A police spokesman confirmed staff had evacuated the 3rd Precinct station “in the interest of the safety of our personnel”. Protesters could be seen setting fire to a Minneapolis Police Department jacket.
I came back out. This is my neighborhood. You can see flames for a mile and feel the heat from a block away pic.twitter.com/0kmkBqcFZJ
— Max Nesterak (@maxnesterak) May 28, 2020
The City of Minneapolis urged protesters to retreat from the area over unconfirmed reports that gas lines had been cut.
Protesters outside the police building could be heard yelling: “We’re sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
When asked in the CNN interview what his message to the police is, Philonise said he wants them “to get everything right”.
“I want them to get everything right. Start doing your job the right way because I haven’t been seeing it, years and years down the line I haven’t been seeing it at all.
“I’m tired of seeing Black men die. Black lives matter too,” he said, before breaking down in tears.
“I just want justice. I just want justice,” Philonise said, wiping his tears.