Vice President Kamala Harris (L) listens as US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the guilty verdict against former policeman Derek Chauvin at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 20, 2021. – Derek Chauvin, a white former Minneapolis police officer, was convicted on April 20 of murdering African-American George Floyd after a racially charged trial that was seen as a pivotal test of police accountability in the United States. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris urged Congress on Tuesday night to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 in order to combat “systemic racism” in the U.S.
“This bill is part of GeorgeFloyd’s legacy.The president and I willcontinue to urge the Senate topass this legislation, not as apanacea for every problem, butas a start,” Harris said following the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial. “This work is long overdue.”
“Here’s the truth about racialinjustice,” she continued. “It is not just a black Americaproblem or a people of colorproblem.It is a problem for everyAmerican.It is keeping us from fulfillingthe process of liberty andjustice for all, and it is holding our nationback from realizing our fullpotential.We are all a part of GeorgeFloyd’s legacy, and our job now is to honor itand honor him.”
Biden said the murder of George Floyd “ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism … a stain on our nation’s soul” but that the Chauvin verdict was a “step forward.”
“Let’s also be clear, such averdict is also much too rare,” he stated. “As we saw in this trialfrom the fellow police officerswho testified, most men andwomen who wear the badge servetheir communities honorably, but those few who failed to meetthat standard must be heldaccountable.”
“This takes acknowledging and confronting head-on — systemic racism and the racial disparities that exist in policing and the justice system more broadly,” Biden continued.
“We can’t stop here.In order to live a real changein reform, we can, and we must domore to reduce the likelihoodthat tragedy like this will ever happen to occur again,” the president said in closing. “This can be a moment of significant change.”