George Floyd, the Fayetteville native, comes into focus on final day of Chauvin prosecution

Joel Brown Image
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Chauvin prosecution highlights George Floyd's North Carolina roots
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Chauvin prosecution highlights George Floyd's North Carolina roots on the final day befor ethe defense presents its case.

George Floyd's younger brother, Philonise Floyd took the stand Monday to give jurors a better sense of George Floyd the person: The father, son, and brother. The man his loved ones knew before he died under the knee of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Though Floyd mainly grew up in Houston, his brother testified to George's native ties to Fayetteville before the family moved to Texas.

"He was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina," Floyd said on the stand before breaking down in tears detailing the bond George Floyd had with his late mother -- who he said everyone lovingly referred to as "Miss Cissy.".

"George would always be up on our mom. He was a big momma's boy," he said. "Every mother loves all her kids. But it was so unique how they were with each other."

Philonise recounted George as the child leader of the house who would get his brothers and sisters to school on time; make snacks of bananas and mayonnaise sandwiches, and as the standout athlete who played college basketball and football.

Most states bar this kind of testimony about the victim during the trial phase. It's seen as irrelevant or prejudicial. But, Minnesota is different after a 1985 case where a police officer was the victim.

Monday's testimony put George Floyd's roots back in the spotlight. Just like last June, when 15,000 people descended on a Raeford conference center to memorialize him in his birthplace.

"This is just an allergic reaction to an ongoing issue in the United States. Just like the coronavirus, police brutality has yet to find a cure," Floyd's family member Christopher Simmons said at the memorial service.

Monday's final witness, Seth Stoughton, a nationally recognized policing expert, told the jurors that Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck for nine and half minutes was an unnecessary use of deadly force.

"No reasonable officer would have believed that was an appropriate, acceptable or reasonable use of force," Stoughton said.

Stoughton was the prosecution's final witness. Chauvin's defense is expected to begin Tuesday. It will be a much shorter presentation than the prosecution's case. Closing arguments are expected to start next Monday.