President Biden Marks One-Year Anniversary of Death of George Floyd
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is languishing in Congress, but the White House is optimistic that legislative talks will help move it forward.
President Biden will meet with George Floyd’s family on the anniversary of his death.
May 25, 2021, 5:31 a.m. ET
By Hailey Fuchs
George Floyd’s sister, Bridgett Floyd, addresses a rally in downtown Minneapolis, on Sunday. President Biden plans to meet several of Mr. Floyd’s siblings and his daughter, Gianna, Tuesday at the White house in a private meeting.Credit…Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune, via Associated Press
President Biden will meet on Tuesday with relatives of George Floyd to mark the anniversary of his death and the start of a nationwide racial reckoning against police brutality.
The meeting at the White House will be private, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a news conference on Monday. Several members of the family, with whom Ms. Psaki said Mr. Biden have developed relationships, will attend, including several siblings, and his daughter, Gianna.
A video of the killing of Mr. Floyd in Minneapolis — which showed an officer kneeling on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds — sparked the largest racial justice protests in generations and brought a sense of urgency to negotiations over police reform in Congress . The officer at the center of Mr. Floyd’s killing, Derek Chauvin, was convicted last month of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
But police reform legislation, known as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, has languished in Congress, as parties spar over a measure that would alter a legal shield known as qualified immunity that protects police officers in brutality cases. The White House had set its own deadline for Congress to pass the legislation, which Ms. Psaki acknowledged on Monday will not be met.
During his joint address before Congress, Mr. Biden, invoking a conversation he had with Mr. Floyd’s young daughter, called on lawmakers to pass legislation by the first anniversary of Mr. Floyd’s death.
When asked during the news conference on Monday about progress on police reform, Ms. Psaki indicated that the White House remained relatively optimistic. Mr. Biden spoke on Friday with Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey and an outspoken proponent of police reform, she said, adding that Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the Republicans’ lead negotiator on the issue, also expressed interest in continued talks.
“The president is still very much hopeful that he will be able to sign the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act into law,” she said.