September 22, 2023

President Biden Urges Congress to Enact Police Reform on Third Anniversary of George Floyd’s Murder

A woman holds a Do You Feel Us? sign at silent march for justice for George Floyd in downtown Minneapolis
A woman holds a Do You Feel Us? sign at silent march for justice for George Floyd in downtown Minneapolis

In a statement Thursday on the third anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, President Joe Biden emphasized the lasting impact of Floyd’s tragic death and called for continued efforts to address systemic issues in the criminal justice system.

Biden acknowledged the words of Floyd’s young daughter, Gianna, who had previously stated that her father “changed the world.”

“George Floyd’s murder exposed for many what Black and Brown communities have long known and experienced — that we must make a whole of society commitment to ensure that our Nation lives up to its founding promise of fair and impartial justice for all under the law,” President Biden stated.

The President highlighted how Floyd’s murder ignited a global civil rights movement, urging individuals from all walks of life to acknowledge and address the challenges within the criminal justice system and institutions at large. To that end, he recalled standing alongside the Floyd family, civil rights leaders, and law enforcement officials a year ago to sign an executive order implementing key elements of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act for federal law enforcement.

The executive order included measures such as banning chokeholds, restricting no-knock warrants, and establishing a database for police misconduct. President Biden noted the significant progress his administration has made in fulfilling the requirements of the executive order, aiming to enhance safety, equity, and effectiveness in policing.

However, President Biden stressed that sustainable change at the state and local levels necessitates congressional action. He urged Congress to enact meaningful police reform and pledged to sign it once it reaches his desk.

The President expressed his commitment to fighting for police accountability in Congress and emphasized his willingness to collaborate with members from both parties.

“Equal justice is a covenant we each have with one another. Today, three years after George Floyd’s murder, let us build on the progress we have made thus far and recommit to the work we must continue to do every day to change hearts and minds as well as laws and policies,” President Biden urged.

He also highlighted the importance of not solely focusing on the deaths of individuals like George Floyd but also taking action to honor their memory through meaningful reforms, and called upon the nation to ensure that their legacies reflect the ongoing efforts to combat systemic injustices.

As the country commemorates the third anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, President Biden’s message underscores the continued need for comprehensive police reform and a commitment to achieving equal justice for all.

The President’s plea to Congress seeks to mobilize legislative action and reinforce the ongoing pursuit of a fair and accountable criminal justice system.

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