‘It means everything’ the pair told GMB.
George Floyd’s cousin Paris Stevens and aunt Angela Harrison appeared on Good Morning Britain today to speak about ex-police officer Derek Chauvin being found guilty of the murder of George by kneeling on his neck.
Angela said: “What happened has changed the world. Black Americans are not looking back, we are going forward and that verdict validated to us, to Black America, that systemic racism exists, it always existed, we were not making things up.
“For 400 years we are the only race I know of in America that had to negotiate equality. We had to negotiate for 400 years – some to ride a bus, to be able to vote or to even go to school to educate. Those simple things white America had, we had to negotiate, to fight for. That verdict means everything – we don’t have to fight anymore, that change is here and we’re going forward.”
She added: “I want to tell other families going through this, keep the hope alive. No matter how hard the battle is, we’ve got to go forward. Because our ancestors did that for us.”
George’s cousin Paris added the guilty verdict is the “beginning” and the family want to see a maximum sentence for Chauvin when he is sentenced in eight weeks.
He could serve up to 40 years.
She said: “Whatever the max sentence is, whatever the Judge decides, we will understand. Mr Chauvin, he will internally have to pay for this, emotionally he will be under duress for the rest of his life. Whatever the max sentence is, we’re going to accept it and keep moving forward.”
On Darnella Frazier’s film capturing Chauvin putting his knee on George’s neck for over nine minutes, Angela revealed:
“Without her video for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, it wouldn’t be a story. It would be another black man killed by the police, but nobody would really know why. My nephew would be dead and everything back to normal. He would just be another statistic, basically.”
“That video meant everything and I commend her. She was so brave because she held that phone for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. She was scared, she was nervous, but she held on. As a family, we’re so eternally grateful to her.”
Good Morning Britain, weekdays from 6 am on ITV and ITV Hub