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Surrounded by family members of George Floyd and their legal team, Philonise Floyd speaks to reporters at the White House following their meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington, U.S., May 25, 2021.
Joe Biden hailed the Floyd family's 'extraordinary courage' over the past yearImage: Kevin Lamarque/REUTERS

Biden meets with George Floyd's family one year after murder

May 25, 2021

The family has called on the White House and lawmakers to pass police reform legislation.


Relatives of George Floyd met with US President Joe Biden on Tuesday at the White House, exactly one year after the 46-year-old African-American man was killed by former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis. Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black woman to hold the office, also took part in the meeting.

Biden discussed the progress of the proposed George Floyd Justice in Policing Act during the gathering.

The president wants lawmakers to finish work on the legislation overhauling police practices, both in the House and in the Senate.

Biden's preferred deadline to pass the law by Tuesday has already expired. The bill includes provisions to set up a national registry of police misconduct, a ban on racial and religious profiling by law enforcement and an overhaul of qualified immunity for police officers.

"It was great — he is a genuine guy — it was a pleasure to have the chance to meet with him when we have the opportunity to," Philonise Floyd told reporters on Capitol Hill after the meeting at the White House.

Biden said he believes Floyd's family was "pleased" with the meeting.

Biden commends Floyd family's 'extraordinary courage'

Earlier on Tuesday, President Biden took to Twitter to praise the Floyd family for showing "extraordinary courage" in the year since Floyd's murder.

"Last month’s conviction was a step towards justice — but we cannot stop there," Biden wrote, referring to Chauvin being found guilty of Floyd's murder last month. "We face an inflection point. We have to act."

Rallies have been taking place across America, and even across the globe, to mark George Floyd's death.

In Floyd's hometown of Minneapolis, there were reports of gunfire near the place where Floyd died, now known as George Floyd Square.

One person was hospitalized with a gunshot wound. The shooting happened about 3.5 miles (about 5.6 kilometers) away from the park where the "Celebration of Life" was being held.

In New York, local leaders and politicians, including Reverend Al Sharpton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, knelt for more than nine minutes in Floyd's memory.

What did former President Obama say about the anniversary?

Former US President Barack Obama, the first African-American to hold the nation's highest office, said Tuesday that the last year since Floyd's death has given people "reasons to hope." 

Obama, writing on Twitter, said that "more people are seeing the world more clearly" after Floyd's murder.

Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes as he arrested him in a row over the use of a counterfeit $20 bill. 

The killing sparked a wave of anti-racism protests around the world, with many cities on Tuesday holding commemorative demonstrations to honor the 46-year-old Black man.

"George Floyd was murdered one year ago today. Since then, hundreds more Americans have died in encounters with police —parents, sons, daughters, friends taken from us far too soon," Obama said. "But the last year has also given us reasons to hope."

jf, wd/msh (AP, Reuters)

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