George Floyd’s brother Philonise said that officers can perform their duties and be respectful toward others.
“What I would like is for all police around America to get their jobs and do them the right way, the correct way. Innocent people shouldn’t have to die,” Floyd said in a Fox News interview on June 14. “You can do your job and still maintain respect for others.”
There have been calls to defund or dismantle police departments in the wake of Floyd’s death while in Minneapolis police custody on May 25. However, even some Democratic lawmakers and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden have sought to distance themselves from the movement.
The Minneapolis City Council went a step further, last week passing a resolution to come up with a plan to replace the police department.
Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump, meanwhile, told Fox News that the push to defund police departments “has not come from Philonise Floyd’s family or anybody working with us.”
“We want to try to work to say we need to do restructuring and we need to work together and in concert to try to solve this problem,” Crump told the news outlet. “This is not a black problem. This is not a white problem. This is an American problem, and the only way we can heal this country is by working together.
“What we want is people from both sides of the aisle, people from communities of color, community partners, to get with law enforcement,” Crump added, “so we don’t continue to have … black people being killed by the police unjustifiably and unnecessarily and senselessly, and nobody being held accountable.”
On June 12, the City Council unanimously passed a veto-proof resolution to pursue replacing its police department with a “community-led public safety system.”
“The murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, by Minneapolis police officers is a tragedy that shows that no amount of reforms will prevent lethal violence and abuse by some members of the Police Department against members of our community, especially Black people and people of color,” the five city council members wrote in a resolution, reported Reuters.
It was reported that at least seven Minneapolis police officers have quit and another seven are in the process of resigning, citing a lack of support from department and city leaders as protests over Floyd’s death escalated.
Current and former officers told The Minneapolis Star Tribune that officers are upset with Mayor Jacob Frey’s decision to abandon the Third Precinct station during the protests.
Demonstrators set the building on fire after officers left. Protesters also hurled bricks and insults at officers. Numerous officers and protesters have been injured.
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights launched a civil rights investigation into the city’s police department this month, and the FBI is investigating whether police willfully deprived Floyd of his civil rights.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.