SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Wearing a T-shirt with his cousin's name, Gary Jones, came forward Wednesday to join the calls for change.
"If I can't breathe, you can't breathe. Cause this situation could happen to anybody," said Jones.
The day George Floyd died, May 25, 2020, Jones, who is a culinary specialist in the Navy, was on a ship in Guam.
"If you're wondering why I wasn't at the funeral, I was serving my country to make sure the world is safe and a better place," Jones said.
Jones says his cousin was a major part of his life growing up.
"He told me one day the whole world was gonna know him. I had no idea the whole world would know him this way," said Jones.
Now, he and others are urging Congress to pass nationwide police reforms.
"As we stand here today, we urge the passage of the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act of 2021. Brother Gary and us, we are in this fight together," Rev. Shane Harris, San Diego civil rights activist, said.
The bill, approved by the Democratic-led House in March, has yet to receive a vote in the Senate but would need Republican support to pass.
Jones says he plans to meet with local, state, and national leaders in hopes of gaining more backing.
"If that was me, he'd be doing the same thing for me, except he'd be going harder right now, doing the same thing for me," said Jones.