George Floyd‘s family came to Washington Tuesday to meet with President Joe Biden and key lawmakers involved in policing reform negotiations — talks now stalled with no concrete progress to show one year after Floyd’s death in police custody sparked worldwide protests demanding change.
Between meetings on Capitol Hill, the Floyds met with Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House behind closed doors, in order to have a “private discussion” with the family because of Biden’s “personal relationship,” with them, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.
Biden later released a statement, saying in part, “To deliver real change, we must have accountability when law enforcement officers violate their oaths, and we need to build lasting trust between the vast majority of the men and women who wear the badge honorably and the communities they are sworn to serve and protect.”
He continued, “We can and must have both accountability and trust and in our justice system. The negotiations on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in Congress are ongoing. I have strongly supported the legislation that passed the House, and I appreciate the good-faith efforts from Democrats and Republicans to pass a meaningful bill out of the Senate. It’s my hope they will get a bill to my desk quickly.”
The Floyd family told the press following the meeting that Biden expressed that he wants to wait for “the right bill and not a rushed bill.” During the visit, family attorney Chris Stewart said Biden also played with Gianna, Floyd’s 7-year-old daughter, in the Oval Office, and said she “had an absolute ball” during the visit, which lasted more than an hour.
“That’s why this may be a sad day across the country, but this was a super happy day, seeing her smile — like she’s still smiling,” said Stewart, adding, “so if everybody could just come together, Democrat or Republican, and pass the bill.”
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