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WATCH: George Floyd's Brother Testifies In Derek Chauvin Trial

Philonise Floyd, George Floyd's younger brother, testifies  Monday in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Court TV/Pool via AP
Philonise Floyd, George Floyd's younger brother, testifies Monday in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Updated April 12, 2021 at 4:12 PM ET

Philonise Floyd, George Floyd's younger brother, took the witness stand on Monday to testify in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Philonise Floyd, 39, lives in Houston, where he is married with two children.

Testifying for the prosecution, he reflected on a childhood in Houston with his oldest brother George as the two played Tecmo Bowl and Double Dribble on Nintendo.

George "was a leader in our household," his brother said, helping his younger siblings get ready for school.

"George couldn't cook, but he'll make sure you had a snack or something to get in the morning," Philonise Floyd said.

Looking at a family photo of George and their mother, Philonise Floyd began tearing up.

"I miss both of them," he said. "May 24, I got married. And my brother was killed May 25. And my mom died on May 30 [in 2018]. And it's like a bittersweet month, because I was supposed to be happy when that month comes."

Philonise Floyd said people would go to their church just because George Floyd was there. "He just was like a person everybody loved around the community. He just knew how to make people feel better," he said.

In junior high, George Floyd excelled in basketball and football. He received a scholarship to attend South Florida Community College to play basketball and then transferred to Texas A&M University-Kingsville, where he played football.

He loved to work out and play basketball, and teach people the game. He would say, "Hey man, let's go hooping," Philonise Floyd recalled.

For years Philonise Floyd thought that his brother couldn't throw the football with any accuracy, because he always made him chase or dive for it. But it was all part of his brother's lesson that you have to run for the ball. " 'I don't want to throw the ball to you, because if I throw it to you, you'll never understand you have to go get the ball,' " he remembered George Floyd saying.

The jury also saw a photo of George Floyd with his daughter Gianna, now age 7.

Philonise Floyd also described his brother as "a big mama's boy."

"It was one of a kind. George, he would always be up on our mom," he said. He described how his brother would lay on his mother in the fetal position "like he was still in the womb."

"You know, every mother loves all of her kids, but it was so unique how they were with each other," he said. "He loved her so dearly."

At their mother's funeral in May 2018, "George just sat there at the casket over and over again saying, ... 'Mama, Mama' over and over again," he recalled. "He was just kissing her. He didn't want to leave the casket."

The funeral was the last time he saw his brother in person, but they would often talk by phone early in the morning. The brothers were both working as a truck drivers, and they would discuss the best ways to back up and shift gears.

"I had great teachers, so I would just explain to him what he needed to do to get to that next tier. And that's what he would do," Philonise Floyd said. "He would just listen, and he became a student. And I always had to ask him for advice, because he was my big brother."

Earlier Monday, expert cardiologist Jonathan Rich testified that George Floyd died from a cardiopulmonary arrest caused by low oxygen levels, which were induced by the prone restraint and positional asphyxiation that he was subjected to by police.

"I can state with a high degree of medical certainty that George Floyd did not die from a primary cardiac event, and he did not die from a drug overdose," Rich said.

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Laurel Wamsley is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She reports breaking news for NPR's digital coverage, newscasts, and news magazines, as well as occasional features. She was also the lead reporter for NPR's coverage of the 2019 Women's World Cup in France.