RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — George Floyd’s cousin says he hopes Tyre Nichols’ family is feeling support as they grieve.

Thomas McLaurin, whose cousin George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer in May of 2020, says he could only shake his head when watching the video of Memphis police beating Tyre Nichols, who later died.

“I could not understand what would cause these five men to do what they did to him,” said McLaurin, who is originally from North Carolina.

But he does understand the incredible pain Nichols’ family is feeling.

“We are definitely assembling around Tyre’s family with our prayers with our thoughts,” McLaurin said. “We know. We’ve gone through what took place to your loved one, and it’s not easy. It’s not easy.”

As heart-wrenching as the video is to watch, he says it’s important that it’s out there.

“Just like with George, the world saw what happened and so there was no hiding,” he said. “We have to accept the fact that this type of action does take place. For a long time, people were like ‘No, police don’t act like that. They don’t do that,’ and again I’m not putting this on all police because we have great police officers in this country.”

The nonprofit Floyd Family Center For Social Equity in Raleigh, created in the wake of Floyd’s murder, has hosted a town hall with local police chiefs, in an effort to bridge the gap between the community and law enforcement.

“There’s got to be better practices that take place in the recruiting and the training of our officers, because I know that all officers don’t act in the way these officers acted,” McLaurin said. “There’s got to be some changes that take place, and it’s got to start at the top.”

McLaurin is not giving up on the future.

“I have to have hope, because if not I’d be living in fear,” he said.

McLaurin said he is focused on helping others, in the name of his cousin, George Floyd. The Floyd Family Center has projects in the works to help with food insecurity and to help families and children who are dealing with trauma.

He hopes Tyre Nichols’ family feels supported as they mourn.

“Grieve,” he urged. “It doesn’t matter if people are looking or not looking, go through what you need to go through and just know that there is a tomorrow.”

He encourages people dealing with trauma following Tyre Nichols death to talk with family and friends, and to seek counseling, if needed.

McLaurin says he’s been in touch with DRG Counseling in Raleigh. The group says they have a staff of culturally diverse counselors.