President Biden will meet with relatives of George Floyd on Tuesday to celebrate the anniversary of his death and the start of a nationwide race bill against police brutality.
The White House meeting will be private, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a press conference Monday. Several family members who Ms Psaki said Mr Biden has developed relationships with will attend, including several siblings and his daughter Gianna.
A video of the murder of Mr. Floyd in Minneapolis, in which an officer kneeled on his neck for nine minutes 29 seconds, sparked the largest racial justice protests in generations and brought a sense of urgency to the police reform negotiations in the Congress. The officer at the center of Mr. Floyd’s murder, Derek Chauvin, was convicted last month of second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter.
But police reform laws, known as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, have stalled in Congress as the parties argue over a measure that would change a legal shield known as qualified immunity that protects police officers in brutality cases. The White House had set its own deadline for Congress to pass the laws that Ms. Psaki admitted Monday would not be complied with.
During his joint address to Congress, Mr. Biden urged lawmakers to pass laws by the first anniversary of Mr. Floyd’s death by referring to a conversation with Mr. Floyd’s young daughter.
When asked about the progress of police reform during Monday’s press conference, Ms. Psaki said the White House had remained relatively optimistic. Speaking Friday with Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey and outspoken supporter of police reform, Mr. Biden added that Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the Republican negotiator on the matter, had also expressed an interest in continuing talks.
“The president is still very confident that he can incorporate the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act into law,” she said.