BY: BENJAMIN SIEGEL AND KATHERINE FAULDERS, ABC NEWS
(WASHINGTON) — The House Judiciary Committee is expected to hear testimony on Wednesday from Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, in the first House hearing on policing reforms since Floyd’s death, two congressional sources involved in planning for the hearing told ABC News.
It’s not clear if Floyd will testify on Capitol Hill in-person or virtually, given the House’s new procedures for hearings during the coronavirus pandemic. An aide said the panel’s hearing will feature a combination of virtual and in-person participation, and will be held in a larger space in the Capitol to allow for social distancing.
Floyd’s brothers have taken on an increasingly public role since their brother’s death. Both Philonise and Terrence Floyd spoke earlier this week at a New York City memorial service for their brother, and visited the site in Minneapolis where former police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
“In every case of police brutality, the same thing has been happening. Y’all protest, y’all destroy stuff,” Terrence said to protesters in Minneapolis this week. “Let’s do this another way.”
Philonise, speaking in New York, remembered his brother as someone everyone wanted to be around.
“They felt like they was the president. That’s how he made you feel,” Philonise Floyd said. “It’s amazing to me that he touched so many people’s hearts ’cause he’s been touching our hearts.”
Philonise, who will testify before House lawmakers on Wednesday, spoke to both President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden last week.
Biden “talked to me for like 10 … 15 minutes. And I was trying to talk his ear off because he was talking to me constantly. Great conversation. But Trump, it lasted probably two minutes,” he told CNN in an interview.
The House will hold its first hearing on police brutality on Wednesday, after House and Senate Democrats introduce a package of policing reforms on Monday.
“There are now protests taking place in every state as people take a stand against police brutality and racism,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said in a statement announcing the hearing. “People are rightfully upset, they are frustrated, and they want to be heard. They want real change, not meaningless words. I want Americans to know that I hear them, and I see them.”
The committee said the hearing will “examine the crisis of racial profiling, police brutality and lost trust between police departments and the communities they serve.”
House Democrats are hoping to pass legislation at the end of the month, when the chamber returns for its next scheduled votes.
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