Politics

Joe Biden expected to attend George Floyd funeral, family lawyer says

Key Points
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden is expected to attend the funeral next week of George Floyd, the black man who died at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer, a lawyer for Floyd's family said Tuesday.
  • The lawyer, Ben Crump, said Floyd's family will hold the funeral in Houston, Texas, on June 9.
  • The White House had no immediate comment when asked if Trump planned to attend the funeral.
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S. June 1, 2020.
Jim Bourg | Reuters

Former Vice President Joe Biden is expected to attend the funeral next week of George Floyd, the black man who died at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer, a lawyer for Floyd's family said Tuesday.

The lawyer, Ben Crump, said Floyd's family will hold the funeral in Houston, Texas, on June 9, after holding memorial services in Minneapolis on Thursday and another memorial in North Carolina on Saturday.

"And we understand Vice President Biden will be in attendance" at the funeral, said Crump.

Biden is the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

A spokesman for Biden's campaign had no immediate comment when asked to confirm Crump's statement.

CNBC has requested comment from Crump on whether President Donald Trump has been invited to the funeral as well.

The White House had no immediate comment when asked if Trump planned to attend the funeral.

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Floyd died on Memorial Day after a police officer who was arresting him on suspicion of using a counterfeit bill to make a purchase kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes, even after Floyd repeatedly said, "I can't breathe" and called out to his mother, who has been dead for several years.

The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

None of the three other police officers involved in the arrest has been criminally charged. All of them have been fired from the Minneapolis Police Department, along with Chauvin.

But Crump said Tuesday that he expects the other three officers to be arrested before Floyd's funeral.

Floyd's death has led to widespread protests across the United States.

Former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden meets with clergy members and community activists at Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Delaware on June 1, 2020.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

Biden earlier Tuesday called the civil unrest across the nation a "wake-up call" for America. 

He also criticized Trump for the president's response to the protests, which included threatening to send the military to cities and states that do not control unrest related to the protests.

"Look, the presidency is a big job. Nobody will get everything right. And I won't either. But I promise you this. I won't traffic in fear and division," Biden said.

"I won't fan the flames of hate. I will seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued this country — not use them for political gain."

Crump and other lawyers for Floyd's family on Monday called for Chauvin to be charged with first-degree murder on the heels of an independent autopsy that found that Floyd died from asphyxiation as a result of sustained pressure on his neck and back.

Antonio Romanucci, one of those lawyers, said the autopsy commissioned by the family also justifies criminal charges being filed against the other three officers, who "knew that they were applying restraints that could or would cause death."

The Hennepin County, Minnesota, Medical Examiner's Office later Monday released updated findings of its official autopsy, which like the independent autopsy ruled Floyd's death a homicide, albeit with a different cause of death.

The ME's office said that Floyd died from cardiopulmonary arrest complicated by police restraining him and compressing his neck.

The ME's autopsy noted "other significant conditions" in Floyd, which included "arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use."