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Floyd's Brother On Verdict: 'I Was Just Praying They Would Find Him Guilty'

People gather outside the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis on Tuesday before the jury's decision returning guilty verdicts against former police officer Derek Chauvin.
Kerem Yucel
/
AFP via Getty Images
People gather outside the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis on Tuesday before the jury's decision returning guilty verdicts against former police officer Derek Chauvin.

Updated April 20, 2021 at 5:44 PM ET

George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, was in the courtroom Tuesday afternoon when Judge Peter Cahill read the three guilty verdicts against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

As the first guilty verdict was read aloud, Philonise Floyd's clasped hands began shaking, according to a reporter inside the courtroom. They continued to tremble as Cahill recited the second guilty verdict. By the third time, Floyd's hands were shaking back, and he was nodding his head up and down with his eyes closed, and then he began weeping.

"I was just praying they would find him guilty," Floyd told reporters after exiting the courtroom.

"As an African American, we usually never get justice," he said.

Many of George Floyd's relatives, who traveled to Minneapolis from Texas, took turns sitting in a chair reserved for them in the courtroom over the three weeks of testimony.

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Vanessa Romo is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers breaking news on a wide range of topics, weighing in daily on everything from immigration and the treatment of migrant children, to a war-crimes trial where a witness claimed he was the actual killer, to an alleged sex cult. She has also covered the occasional cat-clinging-to-the-hood-of-a-car story.