George Floyd Family Pushes Congressional Police Reform At White House

George Floyd Family Pushes Congressional Police Reform At White House

On the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death, the Floyd family met in the Oval Office with President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and other congressional leaders. 

As reported by USA Today, George Floyd’s brother Rodney said Biden and Harris gave their condolences.

“They asked us how we were doing,” he said. “Are we taking care of ourselves… and asked us all about how we’re feeling and what’s going on today about our brother. We’re thankful that they showed great concern.”

After the meeting at the White House, Floyd’s brother, Philonise, called on Congress to pass laws, saying, “If you can make federal laws to protect the bird which is the bald eagle, then you can make federal laws to protect people of color.” 

“We all said enough is enough. We need to be able to set standards and procedures in place,” Philonise Floyd said at a press conference. “We need to be working together to make sure that people do not live in fear in America anymore. This is the land of the free, people fight to get here. Give them that opportunity to want to come here, not stay in places where they’re having trouble.”

In a statement, Biden said that Floyd’s “murder launched a summer of protest we hadn’t seen since the Civil Rights era in the ‘60s – protests that peacefully unified people of every race and generation to collectively say enough of the senseless killings.”

He added that the guilty verdict in the George Floyd case “was another important step forward toward justice,” but stated that “our progress can’t stop there.” 

Biden’s statement also referenced the legislation in Congress, saying, “The negotiations on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in Congress are ongoing. I have strongly supported the legislation that passed the House, and I appreciate the good-faith efforts from Democrats and Republicans to pass a meaningful bill out of the Senate. It’s my hope they will get a bill to my desk quickly.”

Vice President Kamala Harris also released a statement, saying that the video recording of the encounter between George Floyd and former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin “revealed to the country what Black Americans have known to be true for generations.” 

On April 20, a jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in relation to the death of Floyd.

As The Daily Wire reported, on May 25, 2020, Chauvin and three other officers arrested and detained Floyd after he allegedly gave counterfeit money at a convenience store. Following a struggle to get Floyd into the back of a police cruiser, viral video shows that Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck and back for nearly nine minutes to detain Floyd while awaiting paramedics.

In her statement, Harris said that the guilty verdict in the case “provided some measure of justice. But one verdict does not address the persistent issue of police misconduct and use of excessive force.” She also called on Congress to “move swiftly and act with a sense of urgency.”

During his address to a joint session of Congress last month, Biden had pushed Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act by the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death. Congressional sources, however, “told Politico that the White House does not expect that the police reform bill will pass anytime soon and that they are waiting on a bipartisan ‘compromise’ agreement,” per The Daily Wire.

Last summer, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) led a police reform bill that was ultimately blocked by Democrats. 

As The Daily Wire reported at the time, it “failed before its text ever made it to the floor. Democrats were able to marshal their caucus to defeat a vote designed to bring the issue to the floor for debate and killed the bill 55-45. A total of 60 votes would have been necessary to move the bill forward.” 

The Daily Wire reported: 

Democrats fought the Republican bill, led by Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), which they said did not go far enough in addressing critical issues at the crux of police reform. The bill did not ban the use of chokeholds outright, preferring instead to warn departments to craft their own policies against the practice or risk losing federal funds. The bill also shied away from outlawing so-called “no-knock” warrants, preferring instead to establish a national database to track those warrants’ use and abuse.

In late April, Detroit’s Police Chief, James Craig, ripped into the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and its intent to eliminate qualified immunity for law enforcement, snapping, “This will decimate policing as we know it. This is a veiled attempt, I think, at dismantling policing.”

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[By: Charlotte Pence Bond

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