MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — George Floyd’s younger brother took the witness stand Monday and lovingly recalled how George used to make the best banana mayonnaise sandwiches, how George drilled him in catching a football, and the way George used to mark his height on the wall as a boy because he wanted to grow taller.
Philonise Floyd, 39, shed tears as he was shown a picture of his late mother and a young George.
“That’s my oldest brother, George. I miss both of them,” he testified at the murder trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, accused of killing George Floyd by putting his knee on the 46-year-old Black man’s neck during an arrest last May.
Philonise Floyd took the stand as part of an effort by prosecutors to humanize his brother in front of the jury and make him more than a crime statistic. Minnesota is a rarity in allowing “spark of life” testimony during the trial stage.
Earlier Monday, the judge refused a defense request to immediately sequester the jury, the morning after the killing of a Black man during a traffic stop triggered unrest in a suburb just outside Minneapolis.
Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson had argued that the jurors could be influenced by the prospect of what might happen as a result of their verdict.
“Ultimately, your honor, the question becomes: Will the jury be competent to make a decision regardless of the potential outcome of their decision?” he said.
But Judge Peter Cahill said he will not sequester the jury until next Monday, when he anticipates closing arguments will begin. He also denied a defense request to question jurors about what they might have seen about Sunday’s police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center.