George Floyd’s cousin, a local Navy sailor, speaks in San Diego: ‘We have to make a change’

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CORONADO, Calif. — A U.S. Navy sailor stationed in San Diego who is a cousin of George Floyd spoke to FOX 5 Tuesday about the loss of his family member and his thoughts on police reform.

When Floyd was killed, Gary Jones was stationed on USS Theodore Roosevelt in Guam.

“I’m just here to carry his name to make sure George Floyd is remembered,” Jones said. “He was a person. He was a human. He was a dad, he was a father. He was all of those things.”

Jones said he kept his emotions bottled up until now, because the Navy and his family say his voice will help in the fight for equality.

“I’m a vessel on Earth to do the right thing when something’s wrong, so that’s what lands me in this position,” Jones said.

As someone who protects and serves his country, Jones says he was shaken by the violence at home. He said his fellow sailors were very supportive in his time of need.

“I can die any day for the world,” Jones said. “That’s why I serve. That’s what I’m here for. So with that said, give that back, be kind to each other down there. Because I’m out here doing what I need to do to make sure everybody is safe.”

“It was small because we have more to go,” Jones said about seeing Derek Chauvin in handcuffs.

But to get the police force he wants, defunding it doesn’t make sense to him.

“After George Floyd passed, they thought that that would be a solution,” Jones said. “In the long run, that’s not a good idea. We need to have those funds available so we can train, so we can get better assistance.

“We have to make a change. It happened to my cousin which should’ve never happened. So I want to see the next person get pulled over in a position like my cousin to be treated fairly. We’re all humans. We’re supposed to love each other and be kind.”

Jones is kicking off a campaign to try to pass the George Floyd Police Reform Act. He held a news conference Wednesday, speaking about his cousin’s death publicly for the first time, to discuss what the group is pushing to do.

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