George Floyd should be alive. He should be celebrating his 50th birthday with his young daughter Gianna, family, and friends. He deserved so much more.
Today, we join his family to honor his life and legacy. And we remember the tragedy and injustice of his death that sparked one of the largest civil rights movements in our nation’s history and inspired the world.
George Floyd’s murder exposed for many what Black and Brown communities have long known and experienced — that our nation has never fully lived up to its highest ideal of fair and impartial justice for all under the law.
The day before her father’s funeral, Gianna told me, “Daddy changed the world.” Three years after her father’s murder, my answer to Gianna remains the same: he has.
A year and a half ago, Kamala and I stood with the family of George Floyd, civil rights leaders, and law enforcement officials, and I signed an executive order, which applies key elements of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to federal law enforcement. This order bans chokeholds, restricts no-knock warrants, establishes a database for police misconduct, and directs other measures to advance effective and accountable policing that increases public safety. It is putting federal law enforcement on the path to becoming the gold standard of effectiveness and accountability.
My order also directs the use of federal tools to support similar reforms in state and local agencies. Across our Administration, we have made significant progress in fulfilling the requirements of my executive order, making policing safer and rebuilding trust in American communities.
But we know that implementing real and lasting change at the state and local levels requires Congress to act. I will continue to do everything in my power to fight for police accountability and urge Congress to pass meaningful police reform and send it to my desk. I will sign it.
George Floyd’s memory reminds us that there is more work to do to redeem the soul of America. Let us recommit to changing hearts and minds while enacting policies and laws that ensure our nation lives up to its founding idea: that we’re all created equal and deserve to be treated equally throughout our lives.