Members of George Floyd’s family were meeting with President Bush and Vice President Harris on Tuesday (May 25), the one year anniversary of his death at the hands of a Minneapolis policeman, which shook the nation and focused its eyes on police brutality.
The family met with Biden for about an hour and while praising the administration for supporting them, they continued to call out for passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act which focuses on police reform and accountability.
“It’s a pleasure just to be able to have the chance to meet with them when we have the opportunity,” said Floyd’s brother Philonise, who also remarked on why the bill should be passed. “This is the thing: If you can make federal laws to protect the bird, which is the bald eagle, you can make federal laws to protect people of color.”
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Biden reiterated his promise to push for passage of the legislation, which has moved through the House and which the family has strongly advocated, but also which is apparently stalled in the Senate.
"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," Biden told reporters.
The Floyd family met with Biden just after meeting with Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Karen Bass, who is playing a leading role in getting the bill passed.
"We will work until we get the job done. It will be passed in a bipartisan manner. And so that is a commitment that we are making, [that] I'm making personally for the family,” said Bass.
A deadline had been set by Biden of getting the bill passed by the anniversary of Floyd’s death and his nephew, Brandon Williams, said Biden is “not happy about the deadline not being met,” CBS News reports. But said he would rather have a complete, comprehensive job than a rushed one.
After meeting in the White House, family members traveled back to Capitol Hill to meet with Democratic Sen. Cory Booker and Republican Sen. Tim Scott, who are leading police reform negotiations in the Senate.
Bass, Booker and Scott said in a joint statement on Monday that they continue to make progress toward a compromise and remain optimistic about the prospects of achieving that goal," according to CBS News.