George Floyd's Brother Asks Joe Biden to Promise Him Justice: 'I Don't Want My Brother to Be a Hashtag'

The family of George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest on May 25, has asked former Vice President Joe Biden to promise his family justice, according to the 2020 candidate.

Speaking at a virtual fundraiser on Monday night hosted by Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, Biden said he had spent just under an hour on the phone with Floyd's family "right after he was killed—murdered."

"I guess it was maybe 40, 50—I don't know, it was a long time," Biden said, according to a pool report provided by his campaign team.

The 2020 presidential candidate said that after speaking with Floyd's family, he "came away with this incredible sense of what an incredible guy he was."

Floyd, Biden said, was clearly "a guy the whole family looked to."

During the call, Biden said Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, asked him to promise there would be accountability in his brother's death.

"Philonise, his one brother said, 'Look. Promise me. Promise me we'll have justice. Promise me people will be held accountable. Promise me that," Biden said.

The former vice president said Floyd's brother then told him that he did not want his sibling to "be a hashtag on a sweatshirt."

Biden further said that both of Floyd's brothers, Philonise and Terence, also called for an end to any violent protesting and looting.

Protesting "shouldn't drive people away from the just cause that the protest is meant to advance," Biden said.

At one point during the fundraiser, Biden paused to acknowledge that Democratic Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty, who was pepper sprayed while joining demonstrations calling for justice over Floyd's death, had joined the fundraising call.

Beatty asked Biden directly how he intended to engage young people who are demanding action on systemic racism in society.

"I give you my word, Joyce, there is nothing more consequential to me than having this opportunity to begin to rip out the roots of systemic racism that exist across the board," Biden said. "I think we've got a shot now."

The former vice president also addressed concerns around his own recent controversial comments, telling black voters "you ain't black" if you can't decide whether to vote for him over President Donald Trump.

"I said something really stupid, and I'm gonna violate a political rule here, 'why bring up a mistake you've already made and repeat it again?'" Biden said. "But I was on Charlamagne's Breakfast Club show, and he was really being a bit of a wise guy with me, and I smiled while I said it, and I said something really stupid. I said if you have to choose between me and Trump, you're not black. And that got translated, which it shouldn't have been, into 'Biden takes the black vote for granted.'"

"My generic point is that I've never taken the black vote for granted," the former vice president said. "And I've never taken the vote of young people for granted."

The former vice president's comments come as protesters across the country and around the world continue to demand justice over Floyd's killing.

Since the incident unfolded on May 25, the officer involved, Derek Chauvin, has been arrested and charged with third degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Joe Biden
In this screengrab from , Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a Coronavirus Virtual Town Hall from his home on April 08, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. In a recent online fundraiser, Biden described his call with the family of George Floyd.