George Floyd’s Family Says Biden and Harris Showed ‘Genuine’ Care During White House Meeting
“I think genuinely he wanted to know exactly how we were doing and what he could do to support us,” Floyd’s nephew Brandon Williams told reporters afterward
George Floyd’s family said President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris showed “genuine” concern and care for how they are doing in a private meeting Tuesday at the White House marking the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s murder.
“It was great. He’s a genuine guy,” Philonise Floyd, George’s brother, told reporters after the meeting with Biden, 78, and Harris, 56.
“They always speak from the heart and it’s a pleasure just to be able to have the chance to meet with him when we have the opportunity to,” Philonise added.
Floyd’s brothers Philonise, Rodney and Terrence, as well as Floyd’s nephew Brandon, all spoke to the press afterward the meeting and called on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act, which is pending in the Senate as lawmakers work toward a compromise with Republicans
The Floyd family meeting comes one year after George was killed by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty of his murder last month.
Floyd’s killing sparked worldwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality.
“Being here today is an honor,” Terrence, Floyd’s brother, told reporters on Tuesday. “To meet with the president and the vice president and for them to show concern for our family and for them to actually give an ear to our concerns and how we feel on the situation.”
“I’m grateful for that,” he added.
“I think genuinely he wanted to know exactly how we were doing and what he could do to support us,” said Williams, Floyd’s nephew.
The White House previously said Monday that Biden was planning to meet with Floyd’s family privately “in order to have a real conversation and preserve that with the family.”
“He has a genuine relationship with them,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. “The courage and grace of this family — and especially his daughter, Gianna — has really stuck with the president.”
“Mr. Floyd should be alive today,” Harris said in a statement after the meeting. “He should be with his family who continue to show courage, grace, and resilience.”
The vice president echoed Biden’s calls for Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act, saying: “We need to do more.”
Earlier Tuesday, the family met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Karen Bass, the former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Biden had met with the family shortly after Floyd’s death last May, when he was running for president.
After Chauvin was convicted, Biden and Harris called Floyd’s family and Biden said in a televised address that the guilty verdict was “a giant step towards justice in America,” but that it was still “not enough.”
“Black men, in particular, have been treated throughout the course of our history as less than human. Their lives must be valued in our nation. Full stop,” Biden said then
The Biden administration has pushed Congress to pass federal police reforms.
During his’s first joint address to Congress, in April, he urged lawmakers to “get it done next month, by the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death.”
The Democratic-led House of Representatives passed legislation in March.
Psaki told reporters on Monday that “it’s clear” the bill wouldn’t pass the Senate by Tuesday but that Biden is “encouraged that there’s ongoing progress and that there is a sense from the negotiators that there’s a path forward.”
Terrence, Floyd’s nephew, told reporters that Biden “said he’s not happy about [Tuesday’s deadline] not being met, but all-in-all he just wants the bill to be right and meaningful and that it holds George’s legacy intact.”
The Washington Post reports that, if passed, the legislation would ban chokeholds and select no-knock warrants, create a database to track police misconduct and seek to curb racial and religious profiling by officers.
During their call last month, Biden told Floyd’s family he was “anxious to see” them at the White House and promised “we’re going to get a lot more done. We’re going to do a lot. We’re going to stay at it until we get it done.”