Biden Marks 4th Anniversary Of George Floyd’s Murder, Urges Action On Police Reform Bill

President Joe Biden reflected on moments he shared with George Floyd’s family and called for Congress to advance police reform legislation as he marked the fourth anniversary of the day police murdered the Black man on a Minneapolis street.

“George Floyd should be alive today. His murder shook the conscience of our nation and reminded us that our country has never fully lived up to its highest ideal of fair and impartial justice for all under the law,” Biden said in a statement Friday.

On May 25, 2020, Floyd, a 46-year-old father, died while a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his back and neck for more than nine minutes despite Floyd saying, “I can’t breathe.” The plea for mercy as he died was captured on video, sparking outrage and protests nationwide.

Protesters demanded not only justice for Floyd, but also the protection of Black lives against police force and violence, along with reform and greater accountability within the law enforcement system.

Last year, jurors found Chauvin guilty of murder in the death of Floyd, and the former Minneapolis police officer was sentenced to 22½ years in prison. On Tuesday, a new lawsuit was filed against Chauvin, alleging that he had pinned down a woman and knelt on her neck in January 2020, just as he had done to Floyd a few months later.

Biden has spoken with Floyd’s familyover the past four years to commemorate his life, and he has vowed to ensure law enforcement accountability. In his statement on Friday, the president reflected on an encounter he had with Floyd’s daughter the day before his funeral in 2020.

“The day before George Floyd’s funeral, his young daughter, Gianna, told me, ‘Daddy changed the world.’ Four years after her father’s murder, there is no doubt that he has,” he said.

The families of those who had been killed by police officers were eager for Biden to take action, to push forward police reform and accountability, which he had promised in his 2020 presidential campaign. In 2022, he signed an executive order to implement aspects of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, including restricting chokeholds and no-knock warrants, and establishing a database to track police misconduct.

Now Biden is calling on Congress to send the legislation to his desk.

“My Administration has made significant progress in implementing this Executive Order, and will continue our work to build public trust and strengthen public safety. But real and lasting change at the state and local level will only come when Congress acts,” the president said in Friday’s statement.