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President Biden Commemorates Anniversary of George Floyd’s Murder By Signing Executive Order on Police Reform

Photo Credit: Twitter screengrab
Gianna Floyd, the daughter of George Floyd Jr., is presented with the pen President Joe Biden used to sign a police reform executive order inspired by her father in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, the second anniversary of his death.

Two years after Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, killed George Floyd, a Black man, by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds while three fellow officers looked on, President Joe Biden took executive action to reform how policing is done.

On Wednesday, the anniversary of the tragic death which sparked racial unrest and led to countrywide protest, Biden signed an order directing all federal agencies to revise their use-of-force policies.

It creates a national registry of officers fired for misconduct and will use grants to encourage state and local police to restrict the use of chokeholds and neck restraints. The order also restricts the use of no-knock entries to a limited set of circumstances, such as when an announced entry would pose an imminent threat of physical violence.
Speaking the day after a mass shooting at a Texas elementary school that left 21 dead, Biden blamed Congress' failure to write stronger gun laws in his opening remarks before getting to the issue at hand.

"To heal as a Nation, we must acknowledge that those fatal encounters have disparately impacted Black and Brown people and other people of color. The pain of the families of those who have been killed is magnified when expectations for accountability go unmet, and the echoes of their losses reverberate across generations," Biden, enumerating the reasons for his action, said. "More broadly, numerous aspects of our criminal justice system are still shaped by race or ethnicity. It is time that we acknowledge the legacy of systemic racism in our criminal justice system and work together to eliminate the racial disparities that endure to this day. Doing so serves all Americans."

He added, "It’s a measure of what we can do together to heal the very soul of this nation, to address the profound fear trauma, exhaustion particularly Black Americans have experienced for generations."

The family of Floyd, who was suspected of passing a counterfeit bill, when he was killed on May 25, 2020, joined Biden as well as Vice President Kamala Harris and several civil rights advocates and law enforcement officials.

Chauvin was sentenced to 22-1/2 years in prison last year after his conviction on murder charges. While the officers —Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane — who watched on as Floyd expired were found guilty of violating George Floyd's civil rights by a federal jury earlier this year and could face a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty under federal guidelines.

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