George Floyd’s family attorney, Ben Crump, met with lawmakers to search for bipartisan legislation to reform policing in the United States.
“We’re optimistic that — as President Biden has encouraged us — to try to have this George Floyd Act pass before May 25, the one-year anniversary of the killing of George Floyd,” Crump told reporters.
The meeting comes after President Joe Biden’s congressional address. The President pushed for congress to pass a police reform bill.
“We have to come together to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the people they serve, herd out systemic racism in our criminal justice system and enact police reform in George Floyd’s name,” President Biden said. “Let’s get it done next month on the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death.”
Floyd’s family says that his death represents an urgent need for change.
“It means more to these families than anybody else because the legislation will literally have the bloodstain of their loved ones,” Crump said. “And that was the tone and the tenor of the meeting. They listened to us and talked about how they wanted to make sure it was meaningful.”
“We’re committed to getting meaningful reform done,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said earlier in the day after a meeting with some family members. “Hopefully in a bipartisan way if we can,” he added.
South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who also met with the families, says the goal is to create a policy that changes behaviors.
“Legal liability drives change. If you’re making a car, and you can get sued if you make a bad car, you’ll think better about making cars,” Graham said. “So having the department, not the officer, being the defendant is probably a good change. It takes a lot of pressure off cops. They can still be prosecuted if they did something criminally, but it can’t be strict liability.”
Senator Graham says that holding police departments responsible will create change.
“You’re trying to get them to up their training, trying to get them to hire better people and police the police,” the Senator said. “So, that putting them in the crosshairs legally, we’ll do that. But you also got to realize that policing is, is a difficult job and, and, yeah, give, give the departments, some defenses.”
Asked by CNN if she is worried about the bipartisan version of the bill passing in the House after many progressives have pushed back on compromises coming out of negotiations, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is “very confident” the bipartisan bill will pass the House.
FAMILIES MEET WITH LAWMAKERS: Family members of George Floyd, Eric Garner and Botham Jean met Thursday on Capitol Hill with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to discuss police reform bills. @LinseyDavis reports. https://t.co/tMemN2Q7Aa. pic.twitter.com/uU7Fk2BkG9
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) April 30, 2021