The families of Black men killed by police spoke with White House officials and senators Thursday about the passage of a meaningful reform bill that will address police brutality, with the May 25 anniversary of George Floyd’s death being the goal date.
Families left the meetings optimistic that lawmakers are working tirelessly to achieve that goal, according to the Associated Press.
“They said that we are going to do everything in our power to make sure we have a meaningful bill that we can put on President Biden’s desk,” said lawyer Ben Crump after a White House meeting Thursday afternoon.
The families are advocating for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would ban chokeholds and qualified immunity for law enforcement. Those are the meatiest parts of the bill. It would also create national standards for policing.
After President Joe Biden’s first joint congressional address, the families and their representatives met with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Republican Sens. Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. In attendance were representatives and family members of Floyd, Eric Garner, Terence Crutcher, Andrew Brown and Botham Jean—each of whom was killed by cops.
They then met with Cedric Richmond, the White House director of public engagement; Susan Rice, the director of the Domestic Policy Council; and Dana Remus, the White House counsel.
Though Biden pressed lawmakers Wednesday to pass the bill, it is still uncertain if any progress will be made by May 25. The House passed the measure in March, but it’s struggling to gain consensus in the Senate. Part of the issue is that the chamber is evenly split evenly between Democrats and Republicans.
Unfortunately, no matter how many Black people cops kill, the value of our lives will always be up for debate.