George Floyd's brother says if Congress can protect bald eagles, they can 'make federal laws to protect people of color'

  • George Floyd’s brother urged Congress to pass police reform on the anniversary of his death.
  • Philonise Floyd said if Congress can protect the bald eagle, they should also “protect people of color.”
  • Congressional leaders are working behind the scenes on bipartisan police reform. 
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police last year, said that if Congress can pass legislation to protect endangered birds, they should also take action on police reform to “protect people of color.”

The Floyd family and their legal team, led by civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, met with President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death.

“This is the thing, if you can make federal laws to protect the bird, which is a bald eagle, you can make federal laws to protect people of color,” Floyd said, calling on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. 

Floyd said Biden was a “genuine guy” and said it was “a pleasure” to meet with him, adding that both Biden and Harris “speak from the heart.” Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was formally convicted by a jury in Floyd’s murder on April 20, 2021. 

Read more: Inside the police reform rift between Black Lives Matter activists and Democrats one year after protests engulfed the nation

All the Floyd family members praised Biden and Harris, and advocated for Congress to take real action on police reform.

Congress on Tuesday officially missed a deadline set by Biden to pass federal legislation overhauling law enforcement practices. 

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives first passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in June 2020 and again in March 2021 in a party-line vote. 

The bill includes bans on the use of chokehold and no-knock warrants, requires federal law enforcement to use body and dashboard cameras, prohibits racial profiling, and ends qualified immunity for police officers, among other provisions.

Congressional leaders from both parties including Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin and Cory Booker and Republican Sens. Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham are currently negotiating behind the scenes on a version of police reform legislation that could obtain the 10 necessary Republican votes to overcome the filibuster and pass the Senate. 

Scott and Durbin have told reporters in recent days that while the two sides are making steady progress and finding common ground, a final version of the bill is still a ways off. 

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