Gianna Floyd, daughter of George Floyd, raises her fists with other family members and lawyers and says his name as she faces reporters at the White House after meeting President Joe Biden on May 25, 2021 in Washington, United States.
Kevin Lemarque | Reuters
WASHINGTON – Members of George Floyd’s family met with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House on Tuesday to celebrate the first anniversary of Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis police officer.
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on May 25, 2020 after then Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. Floyd was unarmed.
Floyd’s death sparked global calls for racial justice in policing and a reform of law enforcement. After the hour-long meeting, the Floyd family spoke to reporters outside the White House.
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“It’s an honor to be here today,” said Terrence Floyd, a brother of George Floyd. “To meet with the President and Vice-President to show them their concern for our families and to listen to our concerns and how we feel in this situation. It was a very productive conversation and we thank everyone for the love . “
In a statement, Biden said the Floyd family had “shown particularly extraordinary courage [George Floyd’s] young daughter Gianna whom I met again today. The day before her father’s funeral a year ago, Jill and I met the family and she said to me, “Dad changed the world.” He has.”
Despite the global response to Floyd’s murder, Congress has yet to pass police reform law.
Non-partisan negotiators have worked for weeks tweaking the House-passed George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to gain enough Republican support to get it through the Senate. The negotiators include Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., And Sens. Tim Scott, RS.C., and Cory Booker, DN.J., who are expected to continue talks this week.
Floyd family lawyer Ben Crump said family members would meet with senators later Tuesday.
A Marine holds the door as Gianna Floyd, daughter of George Floyd, walks into the White House in Washington on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.
Evan Vucci | AP
Earlier this year, Biden called on Congress to pass a police reform bill and send it to his desk before the first anniversary of Floyd’s death. That deadline passed on Tuesday, but Biden insisted he was willing to wait longer to ensure the bill contained real accountability measures.
“So he’ll be patient and make sure it’s the right bill, not a rushed bill,” Crump said.
“We have to act,” said Biden. “We are facing a turning point.”
Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd said that a Congress that voted to protect wildlife could vote to protect blacks’ lives.
“If you can make federal laws to protect the bird that is the bald eagle, you can make federal laws to protect people of color,” he said.