George Floyd's family joined by leaders to discuss police reform bill named after him

HOUSTON, Texas -- The family of George Floyd joined Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and other leaders Saturday afternoon to discuss the police reform bill that was named in George's memory.

The purpose behind the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is to improve community-police relations and eliminate unnecessary deaths of unarmed African Americans in encounters with police officers.

"We don't come here today with anger, we come here with a sense of duty," said Rep. Jackson Lee. "This bill is a bill that will speak to the hearts and minds of those who have been harmed by wrong kind of policing standards, and it will end profiling. It will ensure that there will be a standard for excessive force."

Floyd, who was Black, died May 25 after officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee on Floyd's neck while he was handcuffed and pleading that he couldn't breathe. In the wake of his death, civil unrest spiraled into violence across Minneapolis.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Friday ordered a judge to reconsider adding a third-degree murder charge against the now former Minneapolis police officer Chauvin charged in George Floyd's death, handing a potential victory to prosecutors, but setting up a possible delay to a trial set to start next week.

A three-judge panel said Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill erred last fall when he rejected a prosecution motion to reinstate the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin.

A lawyer from Chicago also spoke at the briefing and called this a bill of "common sense."

"It's a bill of common sense because when someone says they can't breathe, you should be able to ask if the officer if you believe him," said Antonio Romanucci. "George Floyd was not believed when he said he could not breathe, and he died as a result of that."

Floyd grew up in Cuney Homes and attended Yates High School. He now leaves behind a 7-year-old daughter, Gianna.

"George Floyd was somebody and this young lady has inspired us to stay persistent," Congressman Al Green said, pointing at Gianna. "There should never be another George Floyd guilty of being Black."

The bill has been sent to the U.S. Senate, and Jackson Lee hopes it makes it to President Joe Biden's desk next.

"It has the ability to reimagine policing, and allow different groups in Houston to come together and share ideas," said Jackson Lee.

Afterward, Floyd's family and city leaders gathered in Cuney Homes where Floyd was raised for a celebration with the community.

"Say his name: George Floyd," they shouted with the crowd of dozens.

Monday will mark the first day of the George Floyd trial, as jury selection is set to begin. His family said prayer and a strong support system has helped them prepare for this next step.

"Just prayed up and staying in a good family union," said Floyd's brother Rodney.

On Saturday, his family expressed hope for justice through the courts.

"We will get this conviction, and we will be able to stand proud every day like we're doing now," a family member said.

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