Benjamin Crump, the attorney of George Floyd’s family, said that the family met with President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for “over an hour” today and discussed pressing forward with police reform legislation named in Floyd’s honor.
“He [Biden] wanted to check on them, on today of all days, to see how they were doing to reiterate that they are still doing everything to make sure that his legacy is respected and that involves us going to meet with senators in just a few moments to continue to press forward for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act that he says he’s ready to sign any day,” Crump said from outside of the White House. “He said that he doesn’t want to sign a bill that doesn’t have substance and meaning, so he is going to be patient to make sure it’s the right bill, not a rushed bill.”
The House of Representatives in March approved the legislation, but the bill remains stalled in the Senate. A group of bipartisan lawmakers are still working to reach a compromise in the chamber as several sticking points remain, including the issue of qualified immunity for police.
Here’s what is included in the bill passed in the House earlier this year:
- The legislation would set up a national registry of police misconduct to stop officers from evading consequences for their actions by moving to another jurisdiction.
- It would ban racial and religious profiling by law enforcement at the federal, state and local levels.
- It would overhaul qualified immunity, a controversial federal doctrine that protects officers accused of violating the Constitution while on duty and that critics say shields law enforcement from accountability.
- According to a fact sheet on the legislation, the measure would allow “individuals to recover damages in civil court when law enforcement officers violate their constitutional rights by eliminating qualified immunity for law enforcement.”
- The fact sheet also states that the legislation would “save lives by banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants” and would mandate “deadly force be used only as a last resort.”
Biden had set a goal of today — the anniversary of Floyd’s death — to pass police reform legislation during his joint address to Congress in April, though the White House backed off that deadline last week.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden wants to give the negotiators on the Hill space to negotiate, and that he has been speaking with police reform advocates throughout these negotiations. She also would not put a new timeline on when the President expects to sign a police reform bill into law, but said Biden wants to sign the bill into law “as soon as possible.”
Crump said that in today’s White House meeting, the Floyd family also “encouraged” Biden to continue to meet with the civil rights leaders and advocacy groups that have “been working on this issue for decades.”
CNN’s Clare Foran and Jason Hoffman contributed reporting to this post.