President Joe Biden issued a touching statement on the third anniversary of George Floyd’s death Thursday and called on Congress to pass “meaningful” police reform in doing so.
President Urges Congress To Pass Police Reform On Third Anniversary Of George Floyd’s Death
Biden urged Congress to pass “meaningful” police reform while remembering George Floyd on the third anniversary of the Minnesota man’s death, according to the Minnesota Star Tribune.
“I will sign it,” Biden said Thursday. “But we know that implementing real and lasting change at the state and local levels requires Congress to act. I urge Congress to enact meaningful police reform and send it to my desk.”
He continued: “I will continue to do everything in my power to fight for police accountability in Congress, and I remain willing to work with Republicans and Democrats alike on genuine solutions.”
Biden also took to Twitter Thursday to honor Floyd’s life and legacy.
“Today, America mourns the murder of George Floyd three years later. I’ll never forget Gianna Floyd’s words: ‘Daddy changed the world.’ He has – unifying people of every race and generation in peace and with purpose to say: ‘Enough.’ Hate can never have safe harbor in America.”
Additionally, Biden also released a statement via the White House’s official website.
Equal justice is a covenant we each have with one another. Today, three years after George Floyd’s murder, let us build on the progress we have made thus far and recommit to the work we must continue to do every day to change hearts and minds as well as laws and policies…”
The White House also shared a short clip to commemorate Floyd’s legacy.
Efforts To Pass Police Reform At Federal Level Have Failed To Become Law
Biden’s statements come months after he urged Congress to take action on police reform during his February “State of the Union” speech.
Numerous attempts to pass police reform at the federal level have failed to become law in the years following Floyd’s murder at the hands of former Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin.
Bodycam footage showed Chauvin pressing his knee onto Floyd’s neck for nine minutes amidst the latter’s cries of “I can’t breathe!” Chauvin’s actions ultimately caused him to suffocate. The 46-year-old ex-officer was sentenced to serve 252 months in prison in July.
Fellow officers Alexander Kueng, Thomas Kiernan Lane, and Tou Thao were also charged in connection to Floyd’s death. Thao was found guilty earlier this month of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, The Shade Room reported.
A Timeline Of Anniversaries, Passing The George Floyd Justice In Policing Act
In 2021, Biden met with Floyd’s family at the White House on the first anniversary of Floyd’s death. He had publicly called on Congress to reach a deal on police reform by that day.
House Democrats were able to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act despite widespread Republican opposition.
However, talks fell apart later that year. The bill ultimately failed to gather enough bipartisan support to pass through the Senate, The Tribune reports.
Biden went on to sign an exclusive order alongside members of Floyd’s family on the second anniversary of his death. That order is still quite limited influence-wise, according to the outlet.
“Across our Administration, we have made significant progress in fulfilling the requirements of my EO (executive order), making policing safer, more equitable, and more effective,” Biden said in his statement.
The Star Tribune reports that several events in Floyd’s honor are being held in Minnesota over the next several days.