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George Floyd anniversary: Joe Biden meets family as US embassies fly Black Lives Matter flag

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Harriet Sinclair,Justin Vallejo,Eleanor Sly
Wednesday 26 May 2021 07:57 BST
George Floyd was murdered a year ago
George Floyd was murdered a year ago (Getty Images)

The family of George Floyd, whose murder sparked protests around the world, met president Joe Biden at the White House for almost an hour to mark the anniversary of his death.

“If you can make federal laws to protect the bird which is the bald eagle, then you can make federal laws to protect people of colour,” George Floyd’s brother, Philonise, told reporters after the meeting.

It comes as the US president missed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act deadline, which he originally set for 25 May. To mark the anniversary, embassies around the country were authorized by the State Department to fly the Black Lives Matter flag “advance racial equity and access to justice on May 25 and beyond”.

Mr Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. A jury of 12 found Chauvin guilty on three counts; one count of second-degree murder, one count of third-degree murder, and one count of manslaughter.

The former police officer has not yet been sentenced but faces up to 40 years in prison. The state attorney general, Keith Ellison, has requested the judge consider ‘aggravating factors’ when handing out a sentence, which requests “an upward sentencing departure”.

Following the murder of Mr Floyd, protests broke out in the state, across the nation, and internationally, as thousands of people took to the streets to decry police brutality.

Mr Floyd’s family is marking a year since his death with a series of events, including the Saturday rally held alongside other victims of police killings, a day of action, and a candlelit vigil on Tuesday, 25 May – a year to the day he was killed.


‘We have to act’ says Joe Biden on George Floyd anniversary

“It’s been one year since George Floyd was murdered. In that time, George’s family has shown extraordinary courage. Last month’s conviction was a step towards justice – but we cannot stop there,” the president said in a tweet.

Biden is meeting with the Floyd family privately at the White House today to hear how they want to move forward and provide an update on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

“We face an inflection point. We have to act,” he added.

Justin Vallejo25 May 2021 19:35

Fewer Americans support Black Lives Matter a year after George Floyd death

In the past year, support for the Black Lives Matter political movement has fallen dramatically in a new poll from Politico-Morning Consult.

The poll found that US adults holding favourable views of BLM fell from 61 per cent in May 2020 down to 48 per cent in May 2021.

And less people think that police violence is a “serious problem”, falling 10 per cent from 79 per cent of the population in 2020 compared to 69 per cent in 2021.

Almost half of Americans, 46 per cent, think race relations have gotten worse in the past five years and only 30 per cent expect them to improve in the next five.

Justin Vallejo25 May 2021 19:50

Moment of silence marks year since George Floyd’s death

George Floyd was honored Tuesday with a moment of silence in the city where he died at the hands of police, a death captured on a wrenching bystander video that galvanized the racial justice movement and continues to ripple a year later.

Floyd’s sister Bridgett and other members of Floyd’s family joined Mayor Jacob Frey, citizens and activists at a downtown park to observe the moment at 1 p.m., the time set by Democratic Gov. Tim Walz in a proclamation that said “true justice” for Floyd would only come by dismantling systemic racism.

“It’s been a troubling year, a long year,” Bridgett Floyd told the crowd. “But we made it. They say with God all things are possible and I’m a true believer in that ... The love is very outpouring today. The love is here. George is here.”

A moment of silence was also held in New York and a rally was held in Los Angeles to honor Floyd. Globally, rallies took place in Greece, Spain and Germany to mark the day. - The Associated Press

Justin Vallejo25 May 2021 20:06

US embassies fly Black Lives Matter flag as State Department officially supports group

Embassies around the world began flying the Black Lives Matter flag on the anniversary of George Floyd’s death as the State Department officially endorsed its support of the group.

The US Embassy in Athens posted a video of the BLM flag to its Twitter account on Tuesday, saying: “We raise this banner in honour of George Floyd, murdered one year ago today, in solidarity with people around the globe seeking a world without racial discrimination and a future with equal opportunity for all.”

It came after a State Department internal memo leaked to Human Events indicated its official support for the agenda of the political movement.

The memo reads: “The Department supports the use of the term ‘Black Lives Matter’ in messaging content, speeches, and other diplomatic engagements with foreign audiences to advance racial equity and access to justice on May 25 and beyond. We encourage posts to focus on the need to eliminate systemic racism and its continued impact.”

The memo adds: “This cable constitutes a blanket written authorization for calendar year 2021 from the Under Secretary for Management (M) to display the BLM flag on the external-facing flagpole to any Chiefs of Mission who determine such a display is appropriate in light of local conditions.”

Justin Vallejo25 May 2021 20:18

Floyd family speak with White House press corp after Biden meeting

The meeting between Joe Biden and the Floyd family has wrapped up and they’re now talking to the media scrum.

“If you can make federal laws to protect the bird which is the bald eagle, then you can make federal laws to protect people of color,” George Floyd’s brother, Philonise, told reporters.

Justin Vallejo25 May 2021 20:37

George Floyd’s daughter, 7, leads ‘say his name’ chant outside White House after family meets with Biden

George Floyd’s daughter Gianna led a chant of “Say his name. George Floyd,” outside the White House on Tuesday, after members of the Floyd family met with president Biden and vice-president Harris on the one-year anniversary of Mr Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Earlier in the the day, George Floyd’s brother Philonise, who met with Congressional leaders throughout the day, called on Washington to answer the calls for reform that have come from millions across the country since 25 May, 2020.

“We need meaningful legislation,” Mr Floyd said. “We need Joe Biden, we need the Senate to get this taken care of.”

Josh Marcus reports.

George Floyd’s daughter, 7, leads ‘say his name’ chant after Biden meeting

The meeting came a year after Minneapolis police officers murdered George Floyd

Justin Vallejo25 May 2021 21:00

George Floyd’s family are meeting Biden today. It feels like a slap in the face

Despite running alongside Barack Obama and Kamala Harris, Joe Biden has a long-term voting record that has actively deprioritized black people and their interests, writes Victoria Gagliardo-Silver for Independent Voices.

While many seem to forget because he’s far better than his predecessor, Biden’s political influence is the reason Floyd is dead, The harm policies supported and championed by Biden have caused are now ingrained in the legal system, and no amount of white-washing can remove the bloodstains. Those policies led to increased policing, racially divided sentencing guidelines (prior to the Fair Sentencing Act), and amplified implicit bias in policing, and the facts prove it.”

George Floyd’s family are meeting Biden today. It feels like a slap in the face | Victoria Gagliardo-Silver

This is a president who has done a lot of performative grieving for Floyd but who also helped construct the policies that led to his death

Justin Vallejo25 May 2021 21:30

How the right dominated the discussion of George Floyd’s killing online

The police killing of George Floyd ignited grassroots activism, with demonstrators taking to the streets from New York to Los Angeles over the death of the 46-year-old Black man in Minneapolis. It also sparked a flurry of activity on social media that continues a year after Mr Floyd’s untimely death, writes The Independent’s David Taintor.

“Several major broadcasters including ABC News, NBC News and CNN were among the top 10 Facebook pages by interactions on the subject of Mr Floyd. Other more overtly partisan accounts, such as Fox News, Candace Owens, Ben Shapiro and Franklin Graham also made the cut, with Fox coming in at No 1 with around 9 million interactions. The nonpartisan NowThisNews page ranked No 2 with more than 5 million interactions.”

How the right dominated the discussion of George Floyd’s killing online

From Candace Owens to Ben Shapiro, conservative commentators saw huge engagement on Facebook around George Floyd

Justin Vallejo25 May 2021 22:00

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