George Floyd’s Siblings Open Up About Talking to Their Children About Police: 'You Have Rights'

LaTonya Floyd can't bear to watch the video of her little brother, George, being killed by a policeman.

But it's also difficult to watch George's nieces, nephews, cousins and grandchildren living in fear of police officers.

"They're scared," says LaTonya, 52. "When they see a police car, they will run and hide and holler. They think they're going to get them, and hurt them."

She says she doesn't have to explain her brother's death to her five stepchildren ages 18 to 23 — or to the younger members of the family – because they've all watched it on video.

"They know what happened to their uncle or cousin or their dad. They're aware of that," LaTonya says. "But they are just scared of a security guard. Even at school, if they see a school police officer they freak out. It's just scary."

(Tonight's episode of PEOPLE (the TV Show) will feature an interview with LaTonya's sister, Bridgett Floyd, along with Jacari Harris, Executive Director of The George Floyd Memorial Foundation.)

During Black History Month, younger family members have been thinking about Trayvon Martin and Rodney King, and of course, George. Despite the numerous instances of police abuses, LaTonya wants her family members to know there are many good officers.

To read more about how George Floyd's siblings remember him, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.

"I try to instill in their mind that everybody's not bad. They're all not bad. Actually, a lot of them are here to help you," LaTonya says. "They say, 'No, they won't. They're going to kill you. They're going to beat you up and kill you.'"

"I can't blame them. But being young, I don't want them to keep that in their mind, and in their hearts, and buried in their souls. I want to get that out of them before they're too far gone," LaTonya says. "They can't grow up thinking all police officers are bad and are going to kill you. I can't allow that. No."

LaTonya's younger sister, 30-year-old Bridgett Floyd, tells her two sons, ages 7 and 11, and her partner's 8- and 13-year-old boys to always comply with an officer's instructions.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

"Whether you want to or not — just listen to them," says Bridgett Floyd of Fayetteville, N.C., who serves as Chairwoman of the George Floyd Memorial Foundation. "If they tell you to turn around and put your hands on your head, turn around and put your hands on your head, son. But one thing that you do need to know is that you have rights. You have rights."

Her children, she says, are not afraid of the police.

"If anything, they're angry," Bridgett Floyd says. "They're not scared. … They're mad."

PEOPLE (the TV Show)! is a half-hour daily TV show inspired by the brand's unique combination of the most popular celebrity and inspirational human-interest stories, including entertainment news, exclusive interviews, feature stories, beauty and style, true crime and more. The show airs Monday-Friday in all 12 Meredith markets, including Atlanta, Phoenix, St. Louis, Portland, Nashville, Kansas City, Hartford-New Haven, Greenville-Spartanburg, Las Vegas, Mobile-Pensacola, Flint-Saginaw and Springfield-Holyoke.

The show is hosted by Kay Adams and Lawrence K. Jackson with correspondents Jeremy Parsons and Sandra Vergara. You can also stream the show daily at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on People.com, PeopleTV app (OTT) and PEOPLE's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.

Source: Read Full Article