George Floyd’s family urges US Congress to pass police reform bill

Written by on May 26, 2021

The family of George Floyd met on the anniversary of his death with top legislators in the United States Congress and President Joe Biden to push for passage of police reform legislation stalled by policy disputes.

 

Handcuffed and lying face down in the street, Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis on May 25 a year ago when one of the officers put the weight of his knee on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes.

 

Floyd’s death triggered nationwide protests and violent clashes with police in big US cities, prompting Democrats in Congress to propose police reform legislation named in Floyd’s honour. The protests fuelled a broader racial reckoning in the US that continues to reverberate.

 

The House of Representatives has twice passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing bill that would implement sweeping federal reforms but which Senate Republicans have opposed. Among the proposed reforms, the Democratic-backed House bill seeks to ban the use of chokeholds like the one that killed Floyd.

 

The family met privately with Biden on Tuesday in a visit at the White House that was described by family participants as a very personal meeting in which Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke from the heart and offered their support for reform legislation.

Biden told the family “that he doesn’t want to sign a bill that doesn’t have substance and meaning so he is going to be patient, to make surest is the right deal, not a rush bill”, Ben Crump, the family lawyer, said.

The family was scheduled to meet leading US senators to call for a bipartisan compromise on the police reform bill.

 


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