"I want everyone to stand together and continue to fight," says LaTonya Floyd.

By Wendy Grossman Kantor
April 22, 2021 04:38 PM
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Derek Chauvin
| Credit: CNN

LaTonya Floyd was overjoyed watching Police Officer Derek Chauvin being put into handcuffs after being found guilty on all charges related to the May 2020 death of her brother, George Floyd.

"All I could do was smile," says LaTonya tells PEOPLE. "He's paying."

Jurors on Tuesday convicted Chauvin of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in the killing of Floyd in an act caught on viral video that fueled a national reckoning on social justice, race and police brutality.

As the guilty verdict was read, LaTonya, 52, stood with her knee on the coffee table -- the same way Chauvin kneeled on her brother's neck.

"I fell to my knees crying," she says "I hit the floor. My knees felt like spaghetti. Man, it felt good; it felt like he was reborn."

LaTonya says she felt her brother's presence with her as she heard the verdict. "He was there with me," she says. "I felt him."

LaTonya says that her brother's death launched a movement that has changed the world. "I knew in my heart that it was going to be a guilty verdict because my brother, he was murdered," she says. "His death changed people. It changed the world. He was the chosen one."

But LaTonya says that the fight isn't over.

"I just want to see everybody continue to stand together," se says.  "I just want everybody to stand together and continue to fight. Just because the trial is about to be over – no, it's never over. People are still getting brutally murdered or beaten to death or paralyzed by police. And it's just not right."

"It's got to stop," she adds. "The fight never ends."

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Today, members of the Floyd family attended the funeral for Daunte Wright, who was shot by a police officer during a traffic stop.

The Floyd family, she says, will stand and fight for justice for other families.

"We are going to stand and we are going to fight. Just like they did for us for my brother. We're going to stand with them."

She tells PEOPLE that she hopes that the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passes Congress so that "there is no way a police officer… will ever do to anybody what happened to my brother."

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

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which 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 (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.