Today, in the Oval Office, I met with George Floyd’s family.
Although it has been one year since their beloved brother and father was murdered, for the family – for any family experiencing a profound loss – the first year can still feel like they got the news a few seconds ago. And they’ve had to relive that pain and grief each and every time those horrific 9 minutes and 29 seconds have been replayed.
Yet the Floyd family has shown extraordinary courage, especially his young daughter Gianna, who I met again today. The day before her father’s funeral a year ago, Jill and I met the family and she told me, “Daddy changed the world.”
His murder launched a summer of protest we hadn’t seen since the Civil Rights era in the ‘60s – protests that peacefully unified people of every race and generation to collectively say enough of the senseless killings.
Last month’s conviction of the police officer who murdered George was another important step forward toward justice. But our progress can’t stop there.
To deliver real change, we must have accountability when law enforcement officers violate their oaths, and we need to build lasting trust between the vast majority of the men and women who wear the badge honorably and the communities they are sworn to serve and protect. We can and must have both accountability and trust and in our justice system.
The negotiations on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in Congress are ongoing. I have strongly supported the legislation that passed the House, and I appreciate the good-faith efforts from Democrats and Republicans to pass a meaningful bill out of the Senate. It’s my hope they will get a bill to my desk quickly.
We have to act. We face an inflection point. 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.