The family of George Floyd met with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday, urging him to work for and sign police reform legislation.
“If you can make federal laws to protect the bird, which is the bald eagle, you can make federal laws to protect people of color,” Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, told reporters after the meeting.
Prompted by their legal team, the Floyd family raised their fists in protest as Floyd’s seven-year-old daughter Giana said ,”Say his name!”
“George Floyd!” the group said together.
Speaking with reporters afterward, Philonise Floyd revealed that Biden and Harris met with members of the family for over an hour, to recognize the one-year anniversary of his death.
“It was great. He was a genuine guy. They always speak from the heart,” he said, recalling the meeting.
Brandon Williams, Floyd’s nephew, said Biden spoke personally with the family.
“I think that the meeting went well. He showed concern and I think genuinely he wanted to know how we’re doing,” he said.
Williams said Biden spoke about his commitment to getting the George Floyd police reform bill passed by House Democrats through the Senate and on his desk.
Biden explained to the family that he wanted to pass the “right bill and not a worse bill” Williams said.
The House-passed George Floyd Police Reform Act has stalled in the Senate, as many Democrats continue demanding that any legislation ends qualified legal immunity for police officers. Republican negotiators oppose the idea.
One of the family lawyers recalled that Floyd’s daughter Giana enjoyed her meeting with the president.
“The president actually interacted and played with Giana. She had an absolute ball,” he said. “And that’s why this may be a sad day across the country, but this was a super happy day seeing her smile.”
The president and vice president also met with Floyd’s brothers Rodney Floyd and Terrence Floyd, as well as his mother Roxie Washington.
Biden detailed his visit with reporters later Tuesday, as he left the White House for a short trip to Delaware — speaking fondly of his time with Floyd’s daughter Giana.
“She ran in and threw her arms around me and gave me a big hug and wanted to sit in my lap,” Biden recalled.
After she asked for some snacks, Biden said he offered her ice cream, Cheetos, and chocolate milk.
“My wife is going to kill me,” he said with a laugh.
Biden said he showed the family around the White House and gave them mementos and keepsakes.