2020 seems light years ago, and George Floyd’s death remains untouched in the nation’s collective unconscious. That is why the Biden administration has decided to invite George Floyd’s family to the White House on the anniversary of his death.
As confirmed by an administration official to the media, Biden will receive George Floyd’s family on Tuesday, while the battle for police reform remains stalled in Congress.
The death of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man under the knee of a former Minneapolis police officer, sparked protests against systemic racism worldwide. Eventually, social unrest led to the conviction of police officer Derek Chauvin for murder and manslaughter in April.
Since Floyd’s death, news of police abuse of force has been front-page news across the media, and the social movement against racial injustice and police reform has gained momentum.
As CNN explained, Biden initially hoped that key lawmakers involved in the police reform negotiations — including Democratic Rep. Karen Bass of California, Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina — could reach a compromise before the anniversary of Floyd’s death on Tuesday. Still, Booker said Sunday that it would not be possible to meet that deadline.
Booker told CNN’s Dana Bash that the group has made “significant progress,” but that Democrats and Republicans are still far apart in their views on dealing with qualified immunity, which protects police officers from civil lawsuits.
“We need to at some point get qualified immunity. That’s what I’m determined to at this negotiating table to get,” Booker said on “State of the Union.” “This is one of the big issues that we’re working very hard to see if we could bridge this wide gulf.”
The New Jersey senator said several Republican allies had been partners in keeping the negotiations going, a promising underpinning to the hopes of compromise in a deeply polarized Washington.
“I wouldn’t have a negotiating partner in Tim Scott if (Senate Minority Leader) Mitch McConnell didn’t believe that this is something we should be at the table trying to work through,” Booker said. “People like Sen. (James) Lankford (of Oklahoma), Sen. (Ben) Sasse (of Nebraska), Sen. (John) Cornyn (of Texas), (Sen.) Lindsey Graham (of South Carolina), on their side. I know that there are people who believe that we should be at the table trying to negotiate a solution. Whether we get there or not still remains to be seen.”