Politics

George Floyd's family meets with Biden, Harris on the first anniversary of his murder

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Key Points
  • Members of George Floyd's family met with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House to mark 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-cop Derek Chauvin pressed his knee onto Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes. Floyd was unarmed.
Gianna Floyd, daughter of George Floyd, along with other family members and lawyers, raise fists and say his name while facing reporters at the White House following their meeting with President Joe Biden in Washington, U.S., May 25, 2021.
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 mark 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 cop Derek Chauvin pressed his knee onto Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes. Floyd was unarmed.

Floyd's death sparked worldwide calls for racial justice in policing and a reimagining of law enforcement. Following the hourlong meeting, the Floyd family spoke to reporters outside the White House.

"Being here today is an honor," said Terrence Floyd, a brother of George Floyd. "To meet with the president and vice president, and for them to show their concern for our family and to give an ear 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 "has shown extraordinary courage, especially [George Floyd's] young daughter Gianna, who I met again today. The day before her father's funeral a year ago, Jill and I met the family and she told me, 'Daddy changed the world.' He has."

Despite the global response to Floyd's murder, Congress has yet to pass a bill to reform policing.

Bipartisan negotiators have worked for weeks to tweak the House-passed George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in order to win enough Republican support to get it through the Senate. Negotiators include Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., and Sens. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., who are expected to continue talks this week.

Floyd family lawyer Ben Crump said members of the family would meet with senators later in the day Tuesday.

A Marine holds the door as Gianna Floyd, the daughter of George Floyd, walks into the White House, Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Washington.
Evan Vucci | AP

Earlier this year, Biden called on Congress to pass a policing reform bill and send it to his desk before the first anniversary of Floyd's death. That deadline passed Tuesday, but Biden stressed that he was willing to wait longer to make sure the bill contained genuine accountability measures.

"So he's going to be patient and make sure it's the right bill and not a rushed bill," said Crump.

"We have to act," said Biden. "We face an inflection point."

Floyd's brother Philonise Floyd said that a Congress that voted to protect wildlife could vote to protect Black 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.