Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. He can be reached on [email protected]
U.S. Vice President Kamala D. Harris released a statement on Tuesday shortly after meeting with the family of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man who was murdered by Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, saying that “Mr. Floyd should be alive today.”
“Today the President and I met with the family of Mr. George Floyd. Mr. Floyd should be alive today. He should be with his family who continue to show courage, grace, and resilience,” Harris said.
She said the conviction of Chauvin, a former Minneapolis Police Officer, provided “some measure of justice,” however, “one verdict does not address the persistent issue of police misconduct and use of excessive force.”
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“One year ago, a cellphone video revealed to the country what Black Americans have known to be true for generations. The verdict finding Derek Chauvin guilty of murder provided some measure of justice. But one verdict does not address the persistent issue of police misconduct and use of excessive force. It does not take away the Floyd family’s pain, nor the pain of all those families who have grieved the untimely loss of a loved one,” The Vice President said.
She called on Congress to act and pass the police reform bill, saying “Passing legislation will not bring back those lives lost, but it will represent much needed progress.”
“After Mr. Floyd was murdered, Senator Cory Booker, Representative Karen Bass, and I introduced the Justice in Policing Act to hold law enforcement accountable and build trust between law enforcement and the communities it serves. Congress must move swiftly and act with a sense of urgency. Passing legislation will not bring back those lives lost, but it will represent much needed progress. We must address racial injustice wherever it exists. That is the work ahead,” Harris said.
The statement by Harris came just minutes after the family of George Floyd and their attorneys addressed the media for about 10 minutes and took one question before departing.
Attorney Ben Crump said the family will meet with Sens. Corey Booker and Tim Scott in the afternoon to push for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
“This is an American issue. This isn’t a police issue or a civil rights issue,” Crump said.
According to Crump, President Biden told the family of Floyd that he would be patient “to make sure it’s the right bill, not a rushed bill.”
Philonise Floyd said it was a “great” meeting with Mr. Biden, called him a genuine guy and expressed appreciation for the opportunity to meet.
“Today is about the remembrance of our brother George Floyd,” added Rodney Floyd after meeting with the President.