George Floyd’s family meets Biden

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The anniversary of George Floyd’s death was supposed to be a milestone moment, a time to mark the passage of legislation to "root out systemic racism” in the criminal justice system, in the words of U.S. President Joe Biden. reports that instead, Floyd’s family visited Washington on Tuesday to mourn with Biden and prod Congress to act as they commemorate the loss of their brother, father and son one year ago.

"Today is the day that he set the world in a rage,” Floyd's brother Philonese said, addressing reporters at the Capitol alongside family members, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers. "And people realized what's going on in America, and we all said, ‘Enough is enough.’” He added, "We need to be working together to make sure that people do not live in fear in America any more.”

His death sparked a global reckoning over racism and growing calls for police reform, but a legislative response has been elusive. Still, congressional negotiators remain optimistic about the prospects for a bill and they’ve displayed steady solidarity that’s unusual for such talks, striking a consistently optimistic tone and never publicly sniping at each other. "We hope to bring comfort to your family by passing the final bill very soon,” Pelosi said.

The Floyd family was also meeting Tuesday with Biden at the White House. 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.

“This is a police issue. This is a civil rights issue. We have to look at this as a national issue that we have avoided dealing with for far too long,” Crump told reporters at the White House. In a statement after the meeting, Biden called on Congress to act.

2021.05.26 / 20:35
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