A year after George Floyd was killed by a white policeman in Minneapolis, the family of the former black security guard visited the White House on Tuesday (25) to speak to President Joe Biden about racism and call for a American reform. police system.
Acts were also planned in several cities across the country in memory of Floyd, who on May 25 last year was killed by suffocating an officer who knelt on his neck for nearly 10 minutes – the case has sparked a wave of anti-racist protests in the United States. States.
The meeting with Biden was closed to reporters, but at the end of the meeting Floyd’s brother addressed the press and said the family’s priority was to fight for the scenes of police violence against the Blacks do not reproduce. “If you can make federal laws to protect the bird [nacional], who is the eagle, you can make federal laws to protect black people, ”said Philonise Floyd after meeting with President and Vice President Kamala Harris – the first black person to hold this position in the country’s history .
Next, family members repeated one of the common mottos in anti-racism protests and, with their fists still raised in the White House garden, they shouted, “Say your name! George Floyd! What drove the tribute was Gianna, 7, daughter of the former security guard, alongside her uncles and cousins.
Previously, the family had traveled to Congress, where they had met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic MPs. At both meetings, Philonise called for support for the so-called George Floyd Police Justice Act, the main federal initiative in the region.
In March, the House passed new legislation, which bans controversial police tactics, such as strangulation, and makes it easier to prosecute officers who violate the rights of suspects. But the measure stopped in the Senate, where it needs 60 of the 100 votes in the House to take effect.
Senators today are split between 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans – with a tie in Kamala’s hands – and analysts are skeptical of supporting at least 10 Republicans. The opposition criticizes in particular the point which facilitates the opening of proceedings against police officers.
Biden went so far as to say he hoped the law would pass in both chambers on Tuesday, but dropped the idea given the slow pace of negotiations. In a statement released after meeting with Floyd’s family, he called for the law to be passed.
“The battle for America’s soul has been an ongoing dispute between the American ideal that we are all created equal and the harsh reality that racism has long separated us. In our best moments, the American ideal wins. This is what must happen again, ”the president said.
Despite the massive protests that took the United States against police violence after Floyd’s death, few proposals for change have really come to fruition. Former President Barack Obama, the first black man to occupy the White House, said he still looks forward to the present moment and that more people perceive racism today than a year ago.
In Minneapolis, city council pledged last year to dismantle the police department and rebuild the security system with community help, but the proposal failed. Mayor Jacob Frey, of the Democratic Party, is opposed to the idea, and councilors who had previously defended the proposal withdrew under pressure from residents.
At 1 p.m. local time (3 p.m. Brasília time), Frey and other local leaders participated in an act in a city park, in which participants were silent for 9 minutes and 29 seconds – that was exactly the time that Agent Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd then.
At the end of April, the former agent was convicted of the murder and sentenced in three categories of homicide. The sentence, which has not yet been announced, could reach 40 years in prison.
At the intersection where George Floyd was killed, now turned into a memorial, protesters knelt and remained silent for nearly 10 minutes. In the morning, a car drove through the neighborhood, leaving protesters worried. Despite the rush, one person was seriously injured by the gunfire – police are investigating the incident.
In the afternoon, small groups gathered on site for a festive moment, with musical entertainment and for children. A new mural is to be painted on the square. Tributes were also held in New York, with the participation of the mayor, Democrat Bill De Blasio, and in cities such as Los Angeles, Houston and Portland. Early in the evening, New Yorkers walked to the Brooklyn Museum to remember a year since Floyd’s death.
In the same region, a noisy but peaceful demonstration took place, during which the 300 or so participants shouted: “No justice, no peace”. Another group of 300 to 400 people crossed the Brooklyn Bridge. The anniversary of Floyd’s death also coincided with Kristen Clarke’s oath as Deputy Justice Secretary for Civil Rights, which puts her in charge of an investigation into possible patterns of police misconduct at Minneapolis.
With the nomination approved by the Senate on Tuesday, Clarke becomes the first woman and the first black woman confirmed for the position. After the inauguration ceremony at the Department of Justice, Kamala paid tribute to the Floyd family for their work in defense of justice. “They have shown such dignity in the face of such an atrocious tragedy,” said the vice president. “George Floyd should be alive today.”