On Air Now

DuBois Weather

Biden to meet with George Floyd’s family 1 year after his death as policing bill stalls


(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden will mark the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death on Tuesday by meeting with members of the Floyd family at the White House as Congress is poised to miss the president’s deadline for passing police reform legislation named in Floyd’s memory.

Floyd died a year ago Tuesday after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for over nine minutes, which Biden called “a wake up call to the country” and sparked protests around the world calling for police reform and an end to systemic racism.

His death led to legislation called the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which was originally introduced in June 2020 and passed by the House of Representatives in March. Biden had held out the anniversary of Floyd’s death as a deadline for the bill’s passage, but Tuesday’s meeting is unlikely to include a signing of the legislation.

Biden previously met with the family ahead of Floyd’s funeral in Houston last summer and spoke with them both before and after Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death.

“You’ve been incredible, you’re an incredible family. I wish I were there to put my arms around you,” Biden told the family on the call following the guilty verdicts.

“I’m anxious to see you guys. I really am. We’re going to get a lot more done, we’re going to do a lot. We’re going to stay at it til we get it done.”

Biden, during his first joint address to Congress last month, set Tuesday as a deadline for signing the policing legislation into law.

“My fellow Americans, we have to come together to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the people they serve, to root out systemic racism in our criminal justice system, and to enact police reform in George Floyd’s name that passed the House already,” Biden said in April.

“We need to work together to find a consensus. But let’s get it done next month, by the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death.”

A day after that speech, the families of victims of police violence, including Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd, met with key lawmakers on Capitol Hill and went to the White House to talk about moving legislation forward.

“This legislation has my brother blood on it and all the other families’ blood on it,” Philonise Floyd said at the time.

While a bipartisan group of lawmakers has been engaged in negotiations over the legislation for weeks, White House press secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged Friday that Congress was not expected to meet Biden’s deadline, as lawmakers remain at odds over key provisions of the bill, including the issue of so-called “qualified immunity” for police officers.

Other provisions in the bill House Democrats passed on a mostly party-line vote of 220-212 in March include establishing a national standard for the operation of police departments, creating a national registry for data on police misconduct, streamlining federal law to prosecute excessive force and banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants.

Democrats in the Senate blocked a competing measure in June by Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., that they said did not go far enough.

“They’re continuing to have good discussions. And that is a positive sign. So, you know, we are not going to slow our — slow our efforts to get this done. But, we can also be transparent about the fact that it’s gonna take a little bit more time. That sometimes — that happens, and that’s OK,” Psaki said.

The White House did not give an updated deadline on when it would like to see the bill passed, saying only that Biden would like to “sign it into law as quickly as possible.”

ABC News’ Trish Turner, Allison Pecorin and Michelle Stoddart contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.