Posts Falsely Identify Suspect in Fatal Shooting as George Floyd’s Brother
By Bala Thenappan
Posted on April 14, 2021
Viral Facebook posts falsely claim Dejywan Floyd — a Black man arrested April 1 in the fatal shooting of a woman in North Carolina — is George Floyd’s brother. There is no evidence the suspect is the brother of George Floyd, a Black man whose death in police custody led to months of protests against racial injustice.
The death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck during an arrest in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, sparked protests across the country against racial injustice. The incident also ignited a spate of false claims and conspiracy theories, as we’ve reported.
The trial of Derek Chauvin — the former police officer charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death — began on March 29 and has led to other misinformation surrounding Floyd.
A post widely shared on Facebook falsely claims that Dejywan Floyd, a Black man arrested April 1 for fatally shooting a white woman during a road rage incident in North Carolina, is George Floyd’s brother.
The April 11 post shows photos of Dejywan Floyd and Julie Eberly, the Pennsylvania woman who was killed, and asks, “Why isn’t this on the NEWS Channels?” The post then falsely claims, “George Floyd’s younger brother, Dejywan Floyd, has been arrested in North Carolina for a ‘road rage’ shooting of a white couple, killing the mother of six in the passenger seat.”
Sheriff Burnis Wilkins, of Robeson County, North Carolina, where Dejywan Floyd was arrested, told us in an email, “we have received no indication of that being true at all regarding this rumor.”
“Floyd is a very common name in this county and surrounding area,” Wilkins said.
An obituary for George Floyd on the website of Buie’s Funeral Home in Raeford, North Carolina, lists Floyd’s siblings, including his brothers: Terrence Floyd of Brooklyn, New York; Philonise Floyd and Rodney Floyd, both of Houston, Texas; and stepbrothers Deldrick Carter and Adrian Carter, both of Fayetteville, North Carolina.
It’s also worth noting that George Floyd’s younger brothers have appeared publicly on behalf of their family. Terrence Floyd urged protesters to remain peaceful during the demonstrations last summer. Rodney and Philonise Floyd led a moment of silence at the Democratic National Convention in August, and Philonise testified on April 12 in the trial of Derek Chauvin.
Booker, Brakkton, et al. “Violence Erupts As Outrage Over George Floyd’s Death Spills Into A New Week.” NPR. 1 Jun 2020.
Chen, Tanya. “George Floyd’s Brothers Made A Live Appearance During The Democratic National Convention, Remembering Victims Of Police Brutality.” BuzzFeed. 17 Aug 2020.
“George Floyd’s brother condemns violent protests: ‘My brother wasn’t about that.’” ABC News. 31 May 2020.
“George Floyd’s Obituary.” Buie’s Funeral Home, Raeford, North Carolina. Accessed 13 Apr 2021.
Jordan, Dave and Liz Bateson. “Lengthy criminal record for Lumberton man charged by deputies in fatal road rage shooting.” WITN. 29 Mar 2021.
“Man arrested in fatal shooting on I-95 appears before judge, gets no bond.” The Robesonian. 1 Apr 2021.
“Man charged with murder in NC road rage killing of Pennsylvania mom of 6.” WSOC-TV. 2 Apr 2021.
“Man Charged With Murder in North Carolina Road Rage Shooting That Killed Pennsylvania Mother.” NBCPhiladelphia. 2 Apr 2021.
Olson, Rochelle. “What are the charges against ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd?” Minneapolis Star Tribune. 18 Mar 2021.
Sheriff Burnis Wilkins. Robeson County, North Carolina. Email to FactCheck.org. 13 Apr 2021.
Walsh, Paul. “Brother breaks down telling jurors in Derek Chauvin murder trial of George Floyd’s love for their mother.” Minneapolis Star Tribune. 12 Apr 2021.