The lawyer for George Floyd’s family said from the White House Tuesday that his blood is on police reform legislation as he demanded Congress get a bill passed after Floyd’s relatives and friends met with President Joe Biden.
‘We have to respect the spilled blood that’s on this legislation – it must be meaningful and we can do this together,’ attorney Benjamin Crump said in a statement outside the Oval Office following a meeting with Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Standing behind Crump were Floyd’s brothers Rodney, Philonise and Terrence, his nephew Brandon Williams, his six-year-old daughter Gianna and her mother Roxie Washington. Also joining the group were other lawyers on the team for Floyd’s family and close friends identified as Dominique and William.
Crump revealed that he and the family would go back to Capitol Hill on Tuesday afternoon to meet with Senators Cory Booker, a Democrat, and Tim Scott, a Republican, both black lawmakers who are working on negotiations to get a bipartisan police reform bill to the floor.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told George Floyd’s daughter Gianna on Tuesday that her father changed the world.Before heading to the White House, the family met with Pelosi and Representative Karen Bass on the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s death.
‘Gianna said, ‘My daddy will change the world.’ Indeed, her prediction is coming true,’ Pelosi told reporters as she stood alongside members of Floyd’s family before they traveled across town to meet with Biden and Harris for a closed-door meeting.
George’s brother Philonise Floyd said: ‘Today is the day that he set the world in a rage. We all said enough is enough.’
He then leaned down toward Gianna and asked: ‘Your dad is going to do what?’
She replied: ‘Change the world.’
The attorney for George Floyd’s family Benjamin Crump (center) insisted ‘We have to respect the spilled blood that’s on this legislation,’ when urging Congress to pass a police reform bill
Floyd’s family, friends and lawyers emerged from the Oval Office after a meeting with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday afternoon
While speaking to press, the group held up their fists as Floyd’s daughter Gianna, 6, shouted ‘Say his name,’ and they responded with ‘George Floyd’
Crump held Gianna’s arm up in a fist as they repeated the chant
During the Floyd family’s meeting with Biden on Tuesday, Gianna emerged shortly from the Oval Office with ice cream in her hand
The Marine who stands guard outside the North doors to the Oval Office when the president is at the Resolute Desk held the door open for Gianna as she walked outside with one of Biden’s favorite treats. Shortly after taking a look around, the siz-year-old turned around and went back inside
Gianna Floyd, 6, arrived at the White House to meet with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday
Gianni was transported from the Capitol to the White House on Tuesday. Here she looks up at her mother Roxie Washington, George Floyd’s former partner
Philonise Floyd holds up his fist as the family arrives to the White House on Tuesday to meet with Biden to mark the first anniversary of his brother’s death
The Floyd family attorney Ben Crump (in green tie) accompanied them for the trip. He emerged from a van after being transported from the Capitol to the White House
George Floyd’s nephew Brandon Williams, (left) and brother Philonise (right) pose in front of the van that transported them to their meeting with the president
Philonise also urged Congress to get a police reform bill on President Joe Biden’s desk as soon as possible.
Biden, in a joint address to Congress in April, demanded lawmakers pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act by Tuesday, May 25, 2021 – exactly one year after Floyd’s death. That won’t be happening as senators continue negotiations to create a bipartisan bill.
In a statement released following the meeting, Biden said: ‘The Floyd family has shown extraordinary courage, especially his young daughter Gianna, who I met again today.’
He also shared the sentiment that Floyd’s death helped enact change.
‘The day before her father’s funeral a year ago, Jill and I met the family and she told me, ‘Daddy changed the world.’ He has,’ Biden continued in his statement.
The president, who has a lot of experience with loss, sympathized hat the first year following the death of a loved one can ‘feel like they got the news a few seconds ago.’
‘And they’ve had to relive that pain and grief each and every time those horrific 9 minutes and 29 seconds have been replayed,’ he said of the cell phone footage showing Floyd’s arrest last May and the moment when he stopped breathing and went unconscious.
‘His murder launched a summer of protest we hadn’t seen since the Civil Rights era in the ’60s – protests that peacefully unified people of every race and generation to collectively say enough of the senseless killings,’ he added.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that Gianna Floyd (pictured lower left) was right when she said: ‘My daddy will change the world’
Floyd’s family traveled to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to meet with lawmakers at the Capitol and with Biden and Harris at the White House
Notably, the president’s statement did not mention any of the violent riots that emerged following Floyd’s death leading to death, injury and businesses, cars and other property being burned to the ground.
‘We need meaningful legislation,’ Philonise said when addressing the press at the Capitol. ‘We need it on Biden’s desk, we need to get this taken care of.’
Crump added while speaking to press at the White House later that afternoon: ‘This is an American issue.’
‘This isn’t a police issue, a Civil Right issue, we have to look at this as a national issue that we have avoided dealing with far too long,’ he added.
Despite the somber occasion, Philonise said the family was ‘excited to be there.’
The family traveled to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to speak with members of Congress, as well as Biden and Harris, to mark Floyd dying at the hands of a police officer during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
While speaking to media prior to the media, Pelosi said of the family: ‘They’ve been here before to help us pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.’
She said the family asked her during their last visit if she would ‘name the bill the honor of George Floyd?’
‘My response was, ‘Only if it meets your standards,’ and here we are today,’ the California Democrat detailed of their previous conversation.
George’s brother Philonise Floyd demanded Tuesday that Congress get police reform legislation to Biden’s desk. ‘We need meaningful legislation… We need it on Biden’s desk, we need to get this taken care of’
Warm embrace: Philnoise and Pelosi share a side hug as the family and Congress marked the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s death
The family’s attorney Benjamin Crump accompanied the group during the meeting on Tuesday
Pelosi issued a letter to her Democratic colleagues on the anniversary of Floyd’s death urging the Senate to get a version of the House-passed police reform passed.
‘The House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act on June 25, exactly one month after George Floyd’s murder,’ Pelosi wrote. ‘In this new Congress once again, we proudly passed this vital legislation.’
‘As Congresswoman Bass engages in negotiations on next steps, we remain hopeful that we will, in a bipartisan spirit, reach agreement and pass this legislation in its final form,’ she continued.
No deal has been reached in the Senate to get a bill passed, meaning Biden’s deadline won’t be honored.
‘I would be shocked if something happened as soon as tomorrow,’ Senator Dick Durban, the Democratic Whip, told reporters at the Capitol on Monday. ‘I was briefed before we left last week.’
When White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked during her briefing Tuesday why Biden wasn’t putting more public pressure on lawmakers to pass police reform, she deflected it to the president’s meeting with the family.
‘Well we issued – or are issuing, it hasn’t gone out yet – a public statement from the president, in his name, commemorating the anniversary of the death of George Floyd,’ Psaki said. ‘A moment that impacted him deeply personally as it did millions of Americans.’
‘As you know he’s meeting with the family today, he wants that to be a private discussion, he has a close relationship with them,’ she added just before the family arrived at the White House.
‘They’ve really impacted him with their courage and grace over the last year and he felt it was important for that to be private,’ she insisted.
‘But look I think we may just have a disagreement in terms of what the right strategic approach is to these negotiations moving forward and getting to the final outcome, which we all want to see, which is a bill the president can sign into law.’
Pelosi (center) and Rep. Karen Bass (to Pelosi’s right) stand with members of the family as they speak to reporters prior to their meeting to mark the anniversary of George Floyd’s death
Philonise Floyd pictured looking down at Gianna as the family and lawmakers spoke to the press. He asked Gianna in front of press: ‘Your dad is going to do what?’ She replied: ‘Change the world.’
Throughout the press briefing Tuesday, Gianna hugged her mother, and Floyd’s former partner, Roxie Washington
Despite genuine steps forward, Democrats and Republicans still weren’t able to reach a deal by the deadline Biden set for getting police reform legislation to his desk.
Durbin said ‘it felt good when there was a conversation on the floor’ between himself and Senators Cory Booker, Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham.
‘I felt good about it. But no sooner did the staff get together that they found some areas where they still need work,’ Durbin said of reaching a deal on the police reform bill.
‘I think we’re a lot closer,’ Booker said of the negotiations, but told CNN when asked if the group plans to announce a deal Tuesday: ‘No.’
Reporters pushed Psaki on why Biden won’t ‘use his bully pulpit to call for police reform.’
‘He used the opportunity of his joint session address, which is the highest profile moment any president of the United States has in their first year in office to call for forward movement on police reform,’ she pushed back.
Psaki added that Biden used the address ‘to call for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to pass.
During Biden’s first joint address to Congress in April, he set the deadline for May 25 to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act so it would get to the president’s desk on the one year anniversary of his death. The Senate failed to meet Biden’s deadline.
Later on Tuesday, in his statement on meeting with the Floyd family, friends and lawyers, Biden again called for Congress to pass the legislation.
‘The negotiations on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in Congress are ongoing,’ he wrote. ‘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,’ he added.
‘We have to act. We face an inflection point. The battle for the soul of America has been a constant push and pull between the American ideal that we’re all created equal and the harsh reality that racism has long torn us apart. ‘
‘At our best, the American ideal wins out. It must again,’ the president concluded.
The measure passed the House last week, but has yet to clear the Senate as it got help up in negotiations to ensure a bipartisan proposal is put forward.
‘Again, I think this is a matter of what we feel is most constructive to move these negotiations forward,’ Psaki said.
‘When does he expect to see this bill on his desk?’ a reporter pressed Psaki.
‘I’m not here to put a new timeline on it,’ she said. ‘He’s encouraged by the statement put out by the negotiators yesterday.
Before Floyd’s family met with the president and vice president at the White House on Tuesday, they stopped at Capitol Hill first to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Karen Bass, who is helping with negotiation efforts on police reform legislation.
Benjamin Crump, the family attorney, said they would also meet with several senators from both parties, although he did not identify any of the lawmakers by name.
Floyd’s brothers Philonise and Terrence have been vocal leaders in the Black Lives Matter movement since their brother’s death last May.
Crump walks across Pennsylvania Avenue to enter the White House for Biden’s meeting with the Floyd family
Senator Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, Senator Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, and Representative Bass, a Democrat from California, have been leading talks on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
The legislation aims to ban certain policing tactics at the federal level, like chokeholds and carotid holds. Lawmakers would also include provisions in the legislation that would seek to improve police training and invest in community programs.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second and third-degree murder and manslaughter after video captured his arrest of Floyd, which the jury concluded led to his death.
Chauvin’s sentencing is on June 25, which could see him sent to prison for the rest of his life.
In Biden’s statement on his Tuesday meeting with the Floyd family he wrote: ‘Last month’s conviction of the police officer who murdered George was another important step forward toward justice.’
‘But our progress can’t stop there,’ he said, urging Congress to pass legislation on police reform. ‘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. We can and must have both accountability and trust and in our justice system.’
Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, said there is a ‘conscious effort’ to keep both parties at the negotiating table to get police reform passed.
‘We need to find areas of compromise. We found some. So I’m optimistic,’ Scott said.
Floyd was killed during an arrest in May 2020 by Derek Chauvin. The former Minneapolis police officer was guilty of second and third-degree murder and manslaughter after video captured the arrest, which the jury concluded led to Floyd’s death
With an evenly split Senate, Democrats will need to garner support from at least 10 Republican members to avoid threats of a filibuster.
Therefore, they may need to compromise on some progressive priorities like ending qualified immunity, which currently grants government officials – including police – who are performing their duties immunity from civil suits unless the plaintiff can show the individual ‘clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known’.
Floyd’s death led to national outrage, a slew of riots and protests, and a reinvigorated effort from lawmakers to pass legislation to address how law enforcement interacts with the communities they are tasked with protecting.
Moment at least 30 gunshots are fired near Minneapolis’ George Floyd Square on the anniversary of his death ‘over a PARKING SPOT’ – forcing people to run and take cover
Multiple gunshots were fired Tuesday in an alleged row over parking near the George Floyd Square in Minneapolis as people marked the first anniversary of his murder.
Journalist Philip Crowther was shooting live video from 38th and Chicago when shots were heard about a block east of the intersection. Crowther said a storefront window appeared to have been broken by a gunshot.
His video from the scene showed people running to seek cover as at least 30 shots rang out. The shooting came just hours before the square is to be the site of a family-friendly street festival marking the anniversary of his death at the hands of police.
Billy Briggs, a volunteer caretaker who tends to tributes left to Floyd at the intersection, said the gunfire appeared to stem from an argument over parking. ‘All clear,’ Briggs wrote in a text message to Reuters.
‘Very quickly things got back to normal,’ Crowther said. ‘People here who spend a significant amount of time, the organizers, were running around asking, `Does anyone need a medic?´ It seems like there are no injuries.’
Police said they responded to a reports of gunfire at about 10:10 a.m. at the 3800 block of Elliot Ave. South. Callers told police that a vehicle was seen speeding away from the area.
Soon after, someone went to Abbott Northwestern Hospital with a gunshot wound. The victim was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center and it´s believed the injury is not life-threatening.
Journalist Philip Crowther was shooting live video from 38th and Chicago when shots were heard about a block east of the intersection. Crowther said a storefront window appeared to have been broken by a gunshot
Video from the scene showed people seeking cover as shots rang out. The shooting came just hours before the square is to be the site of a family-friendly street festival marking the anniversary of his death at the hands of police
‘Very quickly things got back to normal,’ Crowther said. ‘People here who spend a significant amount of time, the organizers, were running around asking, `Does anyone need a medic?´ It seems like there are no injuries’
The intersection has been barricaded since soon after George Floyd’s death and quickly turned into a memorial – and also a challenging spot for the city, with police officers not always welcome.
Informally dubbed George Floyd Square, it was being transformed Tuesday into an outdoor festival on the anniversary of his death, with food, children’s activities and a long list of musical performers.
‘We’re going to be turning mourning into dancing,’ rapper Nur-D tweeted. ‘We’re going to be celebrating 365 days of strength in the face of injustice.’
The intersection has been barricaded since soon after George Floyd’s death and quickly turned into a memorial – and also a challenging spot for the city, with police officers not always welcome
Informally dubbed George Floyd Square, it was being transformed Tuesday into an outdoor festival on the anniversary of his death, with food, children’s activities and a long list of musical performers
‘We’re going to be turning mourning into dancing,’ rapper Nur-D tweeted. ‘We’re going to be celebrating 365 days of strength in the face of injustice’
Floyd, 46, who was black, died on Memorial Day 2020 after then-Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck, pinning him to the ground for more than nine minutes.
Chauvin, who is white, was convicted last month of murder and faces sentencing June 25. Three other fired officers still face trial.
The ‘Rise and Remember George Floyd’ celebration, including a candlelight vigil at 8 p.m., caps several days of marches, rallies and panel discussions about his death and where America is in confronting racial discrimination.
Many members of the Floyd family are in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, to meet privately with President Joe Biden, who called relatives after the Chauvin verdict and pledged to continue fighting for racial justice.
Floyd family attorney Ben Crump said he hoped Biden will renew his support for policing reform named for Floyd that would ban chokeholds and no-knock police raids and create a national registry for officers disciplined for serious misconduct.
‘Now is time to act,’ Crump said Tuesday on CNN. ‘Not just talk but act.’
Boards lean up against a building, as multiple gunshots were heard near the George Floyd memorial square on May 25
Men board up Prestige Cuts Barber Lounge after sounds of shots were reported near George Floyd Square, on the first anniversary of the death of George Floyd
A view of George Floyd Square on Monday
Floyd´s brother Philonise, appearing alongside Crump, said he thinks about George ‘all the time.’
‘My sister called me at 12 o´clock last night and said ´This is the day our brother left us,” he said, adding: ‘I think things have changed. I think it is moving slowly but we are making progress.’
Nur-D, whose real name is Matt Allen, took to the Minneapolis streets in the days after Floyd’s death, often providing medical assistance to protesters who were shot or gassed in confrontations with police. He eventually founded an organization, Justice Frontline Aid, to support safe protest.
He described the past year as ‘like we’ve lived 20 years inside of one’ and hoped that people would feel ‘honesty and a real sense of togetherness’ during Tuesday’s celebration at what’s informally known as George Floyd Square.
‘If you’re angry, you can be angry. If you’re sad, you can be sad,’ Nur-D said in a follow-up interview. ‘If you’re feeling some sense of joy over the verdict and some sort of like step in the right direction, and you want to celebrate that, do that as well.’
The event was organized by the George Floyd Global Memorial.
Angela Harrelson, an aunt of Floyd’s and a member of the board of directors, said the organization has stockpiled 3,000 items surrounding Floyd’s death – things like artwork left behind in the square – and will display some of them in a pop-up gallery.
FILE – In this Aug. 28, 202o people carry posters with George Floyd on them as they march from the Lincoln Memorial to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington
Bridgett Floyd, sister of George Floyd, attends a rally and march for the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s death on Sunday in Minneapolis
Separately, the Floyd family announced the launch of a fund that will make grants to businesses and community organizations in the neighborhood where he died, as well as broader grants ‘encouraging the success and growth of black citizens and community harmony.’
The money comes from $500,000 earmarked as part of the city’s $27 million civil settlement for the Floyd family earlier this year.
The event at George Floyd Square was due to start at 1 p.m., the same time Gov. Tim Walz asked Minnesotans to pause for a moment of silence to honor Floyd.
Walz asked that the moment last for 9 minutes, 29 seconds – the length of time that prosecutors say Chauvin had his knee on Floyd´s neck.
Walz´s proclamation says Chauvin´s guilty verdict was a step in the right direction, ‘but our work to dismantle systemic racism and discrimination has not ended’.
He added: ‘True justice for George Floyd will come only through real, systemic change to prevent acts like this from happening again – when every member of every community, no matter their race, is safe, valued, and protected.’
People take part in a protest (including BLM activist Hawk Newsome (center), NYC Mayor Candidate Shaun Donavan (far right), blocking the Holland Tunnel in Manhattan, New York, on the anniversary of the death of George Floyd