Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder.
As the world paid tribute, The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act was delayed on Capitol Hill. Bridgett Floyd called President Joe Biden out during a “Celebration of Life” event in a downtown Minneapolis park.
Biden had proposed the anniversary of Floyd’s death as a deadline for its passage.
She boycotted a meeting with Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House on Tuesday.
“I was going to DC for Biden to sign a bill. Biden has not signed that bill. Biden has broke a promise,” she said, adding, “Get your people in order.”
Two days ahead of the anniversary, hundreds gathered outside the Hennepin County Government Center to remember Floyd.
Gov. Tim Walz, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter attended the rally to hear Floyd’s family members speak. The fight to seek justice for Floyd took almost an entire year.
Last month, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Sentencing will take place next month.
“It has been a long year. It has been a painful year,” Bridgett told the crowd ahead of the anniversary. “It has been very frustrating for me and my family for our lives to change in the blink of an eye — I still don’t know why.”
Rev. Al Sharpton and attorney Benjamin Crump were the keynote speakers. Sharpton called on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
“And, that leads me to this one question: Brothers, and sisters, what is it about a Black man running away from the police that is most dangerous thing in America? We want something coming out of Washington. We want something that will change federal law,” Sharpton said. “There’s been an adjournment on justice for too long. It’s time for them to vote and make this the law.”
The bill addresses an array of issues regarding policing practices and law enforcement accountability. It would improve accountability for law enforcement misconduct, enhance transparency and data collection, and establish training requirements. The legislation would also lower the criminal intent standard – from willful to knowing or reckless – to convict an officer for misconduct in a federal prosecution.
George Floyd’s brother, Philonise, also called on Congress to pass the bill.
“If you can make federal laws to protect the bird which is the bald eagle, then you can make federal laws to protect people of color,” he told reporters.
After meeting with other members of Floyd’s family, Biden issued the following statement:
“The battle for the soul of America has been a constant push and pull between the American ideal that we’re all created equal and the harsh reality that racism has long torn us apart. At our best, the American ideal wins out. It must again.”
Last week, Biden signed legislation addressing hate crimes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly violence against Asian Americans. The bill received support from both parties.