Special News Series: Rising Up For Justice! – George Floyd’s Family Meets With Biden Amid Negotiations Over Police Reform Bill

Introduction To This Series:

This post is one installment in an ongoing news series: a “living history” of the current national and international uprising for justice.

Today’s movement descends directly from the many earlier civil rights struggles against repeated injustices and race-based violence, including the killing of unarmed Black people. The posts in this series serve as a timeline of the uprising that began on May 26, 2020, the day after a Minneapolis police officer killed an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, by kneeling on his neck. The viral video of Floyd’s torturous suffocation brought unprecedented national awareness to the ongoing demand to truly make Black Lives Matter in this country.

The posts in this series focus on stories of the particular killings that have spurred the current uprising and on the protests taking place around the USA and across the globe. Sadly, thousands of people have lost their lives to systemic racial, gender, sexuality, judicial, and economic injustice. The few whose names are listed here represent the countless others lost before and since. Likewise, we can report but a few of the countless demonstrations for justice now taking place in our major cities, small towns, and suburbs.

To view the entire series of Rising Up for Justice! posts, insert “rising up” in the search bar above.

George Floyd’s Family Meets With Biden Amid Negotiations Over Police Reform Bill

By Juanna Summers and Brian Naylor, NPR

May 25, 2021

George Floyd’s family walks out of the White House after meeting Tuesday with President Joe Biden. Getty Images

President Biden lauded the courage of George Floyd’s family after meeting with them on the first anniversary of his murder by a Minneapolis police officer, a killing that launched protests and calls for police reform nationwide.

The family visited with Biden and Vice President Harris at the White House on Tuesday and also met with congressional leaders in Washington, D.C.

The meeting with Biden and Harris lasted approximately an hour, and was kept private. The White House said those attending included Floyd’s mother and daughter, three brothers and a nephew…

Police reform legislation

Biden had hoped Congress would pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act by the first anniversary of his death..

Philonise Floyd, another of Floyd’s brothers, said, “If you can make federal laws to protect … the bald eagle, you can make federal laws to protect people of color…”

The Democratic-led House of Representatives already approved a measure in March, but it remains tied up in negotiations with Senate Republicans, led by South Carolina’s Tim Scott, the chamber’s only Black Republican.

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., said getting “a substantive piece of legislation” is “far more important than a specific date.” She vowed to work on a compromise measure “until we get the job done” and said “it will be passed in a bipartisan manner…”

Qualified immunity as the sticking point

Differences over whether the measure should contain provisions making it easier to sue police officers over allegations of brutality appear to be the biggest stumbling block to an agreement.

A group of progressive House lawmakers, led by Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Cori Bush of Missouri, sent a letter on Friday urging their colleagues to support an end to qualified immunity…

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