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Biden will meet George Floyd’s family after missing deadline to pass police reform bill

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will meet on Tuesday afternoon with the family of George Floyd one year after he was killed by a police officer during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The president called on Congress during his first joint address in April to pass a sweeping police reform bill by the one year anniversary of Floyd’s death, but that isn’t happening.

‘I would be shocked if something happened as soon as tomorrow,’ Senator Dick Durban, the Democratic Whip, told reporters at the Capitol on Monday. ‘I was briefed before we left last week.’

Despite genuine steps forward, Democrats and Republicans still weren’t able to reach a deal by the deadline Biden set for getting police reform legislation to his desk.

Durbin said ‘it felt good when there was a conversation on the floor’ between himself and Senators Cory Booker, Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham. 

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will meet on Tuesday with the family of George Floyd at the White House on the one year anniversary of his death

Philonise Floyd talks to a crowd of supporters during a "Justice for Pamela Turner" rally on the two-year-anniversary of Turner's death on May 13, 2021

Terrence Floyd speaks during a memorial and rally for George Floyd in Brooklyn on May 23, 2021

It is not clear which members of Floyd’s family will make the trip to Washington, D.C., but his brothers Philonise left) and Terrence (right) have been vocal in the Black Lives Matter movement ever since his death

During Biden's first joint address to Congress in April, he set the deadline for May 25 to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act so it would get to the president's desk on the one year anniversary of his death

During Biden’s first joint address to Congress in April, he set the deadline for May 25 to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act so it would get to the president’s desk on the one year anniversary of his death

Congress failed to meet Biden's deadline. 'I would be shocked if something happened as soon as tomorrow,' Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durban said Monday

Congress failed to meet Biden’s deadline. ‘I would be shocked if something happened as soon as tomorrow,’ Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durban said Monday

‘I felt good about it. But no sooner did the staff get together that they found some areas where they still need work,’ Durbin said of reaching a deal on the police reform bill.

‘I think we’re a lot closer,’ Booker said of the negotiations, but told CNN when asked if the group plans to announce a deal Tuesday: ‘No.’ 

Before Floyd’s family meets with the president and vice president at the White House on Tuesday, the family’s attorney Ben Crump confirmed they will stop at Capitol Hill first to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Karen Bass, who is helping with negotiation efforts on police reform legislation.

Crump also told NBC News that the family would meet with several senators from both parties, although he did not identify any of the lawmakers by name.

It is unclear exactly which family members will be present from the trip to Washington D.C., but Floyd’s brothers Philonise and Terrence have been vocal leaders in the Black Lives Matter movement since their brother’s death last May.

Senator Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, Senator Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, and Representative Bass, a Democrat from California, have been leading talks on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

The legislation aims to ban certain policing tactics at the federal level, like chokeholds and carotid holds. Lawmakers would also include provisions in the legislation that would seek to improve police training and invest in community programs.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Rep. Karen Bass

Floyd’s family will also stop at the Capitol on Tuesday to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (left), Representative Karen Bass (right) and other lawmakers from both sides of the aisle

Floyd's 6-year-old daughter Gianna Floyd attends a news conference following the verdict of her father's killer on April 19, 2021. To her left is her mother and Floyd's former partner Roxie Washington

Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter Gianna Floyd attends a news conference following the verdict of her father’s killer on April 19, 2021. To her left is her mother and Floyd’s former partner Roxie Washington

Floyd's sisters Zsa-Zsa (left) and LaTonya (right) speak to media following a memorial service for their brother in North Carolina on June 6, 2020

Floyd’s sisters Zsa-Zsa (left) and LaTonya (right) speak to media following a memorial service for their brother in North Carolina on June 6, 2020

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second and third-degree murder and manslaughter after video captured his arrest of Floyd, which the jury concluded led to his death.

Chauvin’s sentencing is on June 25, which could see him sent to prison for the rest of his life.

Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, said there is a ‘conscious effort’ to keep both parties at the negotiating table to get police reform passed.

‘We need to find areas of compromise. We found some. So I’m optimistic,’ Scott said.

Floyd was killed during an arrest in May 2020 by Derek Chauvin. The former Minneapolis police officer was guilty of second and third-degree murder and manslaughter after video captured the arrest, which the jury concluded led to Floyd's death

Floyd was killed during an arrest in May 2020 by Derek Chauvin. The former Minneapolis police officer was guilty of second and third-degree murder and manslaughter after video captured the arrest, which the jury concluded led to Floyd’s death

With an evenly split Senate, Democrats will need to garner support from at least 10 Republican members to avoid threats of a filibuster.

Therefore, they may need to compromise on some progressive priorities like ending qualified immunity, which currently grants government officials – including police – who are performing their duties immunity from civil suits unless the plaintiff can show the individual ‘clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known’.

Floyd’s death led to national outrage, a slew of riots and protests, and a reinvigorated effort from lawmakers to pass legislation to address how law enforcement interacts with the communities they are tasked with protecting.


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