George Floyd’s daughter visits White House and leads ‘say his name’ chant

George Floyd’s daughter led a “say his name” chant as her family gathered outside the White House, a year after the 46-year-old was murdered by a police officer.

Gianna, seven, joined relatives and their legal team as they met President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

And Chris Stewart, one of the Floyd family lawyers, said the president even played with the bereaved young girl – “she had an absolute ball” with the leader of the free world who is a grandfather himself, Mr Stewart said.

Gianna Floyd went to the White House with her family a year after her father was murdered. Pic: AP
Image:Gianna Floyd went to the White House with her family a year after her father was murdered. Pic: AP

Footage taken and shared on social media was central to the conviction of white officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of the black man in Minnesota.

Now, a month after the “guilty” verdict was read out in a Minneapolis courtroom, the US president has told his country that “our progress can’t stop there”, as events took place across the nation to mark the anniversary.

Mr Biden said: “Today, in the Oval Office, I met with George Floyd’s family.

George Floyd and Derek Chauvin. Pic: Minnesota Department of Corrections
Image:It’s been a year since Mr Floyd was murdered by Chauvin. Pic: Minnesota Department of Corrections

“Although it has been one year since their beloved brother and father was murdered, for the family – for any family experiencing a profound loss – the first year can still feel like they got the news a few seconds ago. And they’ve had to relive that pain and grief each and every time those horrific nine minutes and 29 seconds have been replayed.

More on Black Lives Matter

  • Connor Goldson: Rangers defender believes it is positive that racism is being more openly discussed

  • Football: Has it changed a year on from the murder of George Floyd?

  • Young, black and striving for change

  • The US city where police went an entire year without firing a shot

  • George Floyd death anniversary live: Floyd family speak outside White House after meeting with Biden – as Brixton protesters take the knee

  • Who is Sasha Johnson? The ‘fearless political campaigner’ who has faced ‘numerous death threats’

“Yet the Floyd family has shown extraordinary courage, especially his young daughter Gianna, who I met again today. The day before her father’s funeral a year ago, Jill and I met the family and she told me, ‘Daddy changed the world.’

“He has.

“His murder launched a summer of protest we hadn’t seen since the Civil Rights era in the ’60s – protests that peacefully unified people of every race and generation to collectively say enough of the senseless killings.”

He added: “To deliver real change, we must have accountability when law enforcement officers violate their oaths, and we need to build lasting trust between the vast majority of the men and women who wear the badge honourably and the communities they are sworn to serve and protect.

Mr Biden said there was more progress to be made, after he and Vice President Harries met the Floyd family
Image:Mr Biden said there was more progress to be made, after he and Vice President Harris met the Floyd family

“We can and must have both accountability and trust and in our justice system.”

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives approved a sweeping bill in March that would make it easier for individual police officers to be sued and charged with crimes.

It would also ban chokeholds, limit no-knock warrants (warrants allowing law enforcement to enter a property without telling residents beforehand) and create a national database of officers with histories of complaints and disciplinary problems.

Republicans and Democrats are negotiating to get the bill through the Senate.

Among the stumbling blocks is a move to limit qualified immunity, which protects police officers from most civil lawsuits.

Mr Biden said he hopes the bill will “get to my desk quickly”.

Subscribe to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

Meanwhile, activists gathered in city centres across the UK and took a knee as part of co-ordinated tributes to Mr Floyd, while many demonstrated individually at home or their workplace.

James Eaden joined about 50 people at Rykneld Square in Chesterfield as part of the action, which he said was an “important part” of continuing the message of the Black Lives Matter movement.

He said: “We have made important strides in taking an anti-racist message into our community… but racism continues.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

BLM activists take the knee in Brixton

Campaigners have also issued warnings over proposed reforms to stop and search powers.

You can watch a special programme looking at the wider issue of racial equality in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

George Floyd: From Murder To Justice? is on Sky News at 9pm on Wednesday.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *