George Floyd’s Family Meets With Joe Biden At White House, Urging Passage Of Police Reform Measures

Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, talks with reporters with other family members after meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

UPDATE, 3:49 PM PT: Joe Biden told reporters that he is “hopeful that after Memorial Day” there will be a deal on a police reform bill.

The president made the remarks after meeting at the White House with the family of George Floyd on the one-year anniversary of his death.

He said that such anniversaries of personal loss bring “everything back immediately like it happened that day. It takes a lot of courage to go through it. And they’ve been wonderful.”

Biden said that he showed the family around the Oval Office and other parts of the White House.

He said that Floyd’s six-year-old daughter, Gianna, “ran and threw her arms around me, gave me a big hug, and wanted to sit in my lap.” She also said that she was really hungry and asked for snacks. “My wife would kill me, we gave her some ice cream, she had some Cheetos, and I think she had a chocolate milk,” Biden said.

PREVIOUSLY: The family of George Floyd met with President Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday, marking not just the first anniversary of Floyd’s death but urging passage of a landmark police reform bill.

Biden had set Tuesday as the deadline for Congress to pass the legislation, but that is not happening.

Still, Floyd’s family members and their lead attorney, Ben Crump, expressed optimism that a deal would be reached.

“If you can make federal laws to protect the bird, which is the bald eagle, you can make federal laws to protect people of color,” Floyd’s brother, Philonise told reporters after the meeting.

Crump said that they were planning to meet on Tuesday afternoon with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), who have been among the lead negotiators seeking a bipartisan compromise. The House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in March, and the family met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats earlier in the day.

The legislation would ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants, end qualified immunity for police officers and prohibit racial, religious and discriminatory profiling, among other things.

“We don’t think that it has to be one against the other,” Crump said. “It should be that we all want better policing. We all want just policing where George Floyd would be get an opportunity  to take a breath without having a knee on his neck, where Breonna Taylor would be able to get to sleep in peace, without having heard doors busted open and executed with six bullets in her body. Their blood is on this legislation.”

Vice President Kamala Harris also was at the White House meeting, which was closed to the press. Crump said that Biden indicated that he “doesn’t want to sign a bill that doesn’t have substance and meaning, so he is going to be patient to make sure that it is the right bill, not a rushed bill.”

Another brother, Rodney Floyd, said that Biden and Harris “asked us how are we doing. Are we taken care of ourselves, health counseling. They asked us all about how we feel and what’s going on today about our brother. We are thankful that he should great concern.”

“I think genuinely he wanted to know exactly how we are doing, and what he could do to support us,” said Brandon Williams, Floyd’s nephew. He said that Biden was “not happy” that the deadline for the passage of the bill was not being met, but “all in all he just wants the bill to be right and meaningful.”

Attorney Chris Stewart, Crump’s co-counsel, said that Biden “actually interacted and played with Gianna Floyd, George Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter.

“She had an absolute ball,” Stewart said. “That’s why this may be a sad day across the country, but this was a super happy day, seeing her smiling like she’s still smiling.”

Earlier, at the Capitol, Philonise Floyd told reporters that “today is the day that he set the world in a rage. We all said enough is enough.”

Then Floyd leaned down toward Gianna and asked, “Your dad is going to do what?”

She replied, “Change the world.”


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