ST. LOUIS, Mo – U.S. Rep. Cori Bush released a statement Tuesday on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder.
“George Floyd had a rich and loving life that was taken from him. It was taken from his daughter, Gianna. It was taken from his brother, Philonise. It was taken from each and every person who knew and loved him. That is what I’m thinking about today.
We must acknowledge that the knee on George Floyd’s neck was just one injustice in a series of compounding systems of racism and structural inequity that he experienced in his life. A descendant of enslaved people, George Floyd was born with generational trauma in his DNA and denied the generational wealth that belonged to his family. He survived the vicious cycle of our racist incarceration system and opioid crisis. He suffered through COVID-19 like so many Black and brown people across our communities.
Despite the adversity that George Floyd endured, he was full of life and love for his family, friends, and loved ones. It was in honor of his life that millions took to the streets in struggle for a world where George Floyd would never have been taken from us. We honor his life, legacy, and name by doing the work of achieving justice each and every day.
Honoring George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown Jr., and too many other Black people taken from our communities by state violence is at the heart of why we legislate in defense of Black lives—and it’s why we lead with an agenda rooted in saving lives. It’s why we are committed to ensuring the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act puts an end to qualified immunity once and for all. It’s why we are committed to shifting away from a reliance on systems of policing and incarceration that perpetuate violence and trauma on Black and brown communities and towards systems that value our humanity and truly keep us safe. George Floyd should still be here today—and it is in his name that we will continue to fight until justice is won for everyone.”Cori Bush
Following the death of Michael Brown Jr. in August 2014, Bush became a leader of some of the many protests that followed the fatal police shooting of the Black, unarmed 18-year-old. She was back on the streets in 2017 after a white St. Louis officer was acquitted in the shooting death of a Black suspect.
President Joe Biden will meet with the family of George Floyd at the White House Tuesday.
But beyond the meeting, Biden has yet to offer concrete action for the family of the man whose death at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer sparked a global reckoning over systemic racism and movement for police reform. The path forward on Capitol Hill for Floyd’s namesake bill, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, remains unclear, but negotiators say they’ve made progress and expressed optimism this week about its prospects.
The Floyd family will have their own opportunity to weigh in on the congressional efforts Tuesday. In addition to their visit to the White House, the Floyd family is expected to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Karen Bass, the lead House negotiator on the policing bill.
Floyd died on May 25, 2020 after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for more than nine minutes, while Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe. His death sparked months of nationwide protests focused on systemic racism and a renewed debate over police reform in the U.S. Chauvin was convicted last month on multiple charges stemming from Floyd’s death.
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act would ban chokeholds by federal officers and end qualified immunity for law enforcement against civil lawsuits, as well as create national standards for policing in a bid to bolster accountability. It passed the House in March, but faces a much tougher road in the evenly-divided Senate.
On Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the White House still see the George Floyd Act as the appropriate vessel for police reform. She added, “What we’ve seen from the negotiators — and we’ve been in close touch with the negotiators as well — is that they still feel there is progress being made.”