Philonise Floyd urged Congress to take action to reform law enforcement in honor of his late brother George Floyd during his opening statement before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Why it matters: It's the first House hearing on policing reform since Floyd's death. Philonise Floyd's plea comes as momentum for police reform has grown in Congress, with Democrats and Republicans agreeing that changes are needed at the federal level to meet the moment and address nationwide protests.

What he's saying:

  • "I'm tired. I'm tired of the pain I'm feeling now and I'm tired of the pain I feel every time another black person is killed for no reason. I'm here today to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain. Stop us from being tired."
  • "George’s calls for help were ignored. Please listen to the call I’m making to you now, to the calls of our family, and to the calls ringing out in the streets across the world. People of all backgrounds, genders and race have come together to demand change. Honor them, honor George, and make the necessary changes that make law enforcement the solution – and not the problem."
  • "Hold them accountable when they do something wrong. Teach them what it means to treat people with empathy and respect. Teach them what necessary force is. Teach them that deadly force should be used rarely and only when life is at risk."
  • "If his death ends up changing the world for the better. And I think it will. I think it has. Then he died as he lived. It is on you to make sure his death isn’t in vain."

Read the full statement.

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Louisville police officer involved in Breonna Taylor shooting fired

Protesters hold pictures of Breonna Taylor, left, Andrew Kearse, center, and Ahmaud Arbery, right, during a demonstration on June 22 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo: Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Louisville police officer Brett Hankison was fired on Tuesday, effective immediately, for "blindly" firing 10 bullets into Breonna Taylor's apartment on March 13, the police department announced.

Driving the news: Black Lives Matter protesters and activists on social media have called for punitive action in the wake of Taylor's death, after she was fatally shot by police who entered her apartment without warning through a "no-knock" warrant.

Updated Jun 19, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation to commemorate Juneteenth

On Friday, June 19, Axios' markets reporter Dion Rabouin hosted a discussion on the history of Juneteenth and the current nationwide protests against police violence, featuring former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, BET founder Robert Johnson and activist DeRay Mckesson.

Robert Johnson discussed the history of Juneteenth and his advocacy around reparations.

  • On reparations and race relations: "Reparations is a demand on the part of African-Americans that we be made whole for the wealth that was stolen from slaves over a 300 year period...My position is that white America should recognize the debt and black Americans should be proud to accept the atonement."
  • How slavery laid the foundation for racial income inequality: "It is no secret that the net income of a white family is $170,000 on average. The net income of a black family is $17,000. That 10-fold disparity can be traced directly back to the wealth transfer that started with slave labor."

Mayor Sylvester Turner focused on policy decisions around policing in Houston, and responded to calls for defunding the police.

  • On his decision to increase police funding: "We need policing. [People] are asking for good policing. They're asking for a policing system that's accountable. They're also going beyond that...They want to be investing in communities and neighborhoods that have been overlooked and under invested in for decades."

Valerie Jarrett discussed the ongoing demonstrations around the country and the upcoming election in November.

  • On the importance of civil rights during this political moment: "We need a robust civil rights division...in deciding how you want to vote, you should say, are the people who are in office actually worrying about the civil rights of all Americans and not just some Americans?"
  • On how to make cultural progress: "It's not good enough to just say, 'Look, I'm not a racist.' What you have to say is: 'What am I going to do to help change our culture, to make it better?' There's something that we can all do individually. There's certainly something the business community can do."

DeRay Mckesson highlighted how the present moment invites people to reimagine the concept of safety.

  • "The question is not police, no police. The question is like, how do I stay safe and what does safety look like? The police are not the best answer to that. The police aren't the only answer to that. And the police shouldn't be the answer that we fund when we think of that question."

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

Updated Jul 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The major police reforms that have been enacted since George Floyd's death

NYPD officers watch a George Floyd protest in Manhattan on June 6. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images

Nationwide Black Lives Matter protests sparked by George Floyd's killing have put new pressure on states and cities to scale back the force that officers can use on civilians.

Why it matters: Police reforms of this scale have not taken place in response to the Black Lives Matter movement since its inception in 2013, after George Zimmerman's acquittal for shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager.