The day before her father’s funeral, George Floyd’s young daughter Gianna told me, “Daddy changed the world.” Three years after her father’s murder, my answer to Gianna remains the same: he has.
George Floyd’s murder exposed for many what Black and Brown communities have long known and experienced — that we must make a whole of society commitment to ensure that our Nation lives up to its founding promise of fair and impartial justice for all under the law. The injustice on display for the world to see sparked one of the largest civil rights movements in generations — with calls from all corners to acknowledge and address the challenges in our criminal justice system and in our institutions more broadly.
A year ago today, Kamala and I stood next to the family of George Floyd, civil rights leaders, and law enforcement officials to sign my executive order, which applies key elements of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to federal law enforcement: banning chokeholds, restricting no-knock warrants, establishing a database for police misconduct, and other measures to advance effective and accountable policing that builds public trust and increases public safety. Across our Administration, we have made significant progress in fulfilling the requirements of my EO, making policing safer, more equitable, and more effective.
But we know that implementing real and lasting change at the state and local levels requires Congress to act. I urge Congress to enact meaningful police reform and send it to my desk. I will sign it. I will continue to do everything in my power to fight for police accountability in Congress, and I remain willing to work with Republicans and Democrats alike on genuine solutions.
Equal justice is a covenant we each have with one another. Today, three years after George Floyd’s murder, let us build on the progress we have made thus far and recommit to the work we must continue to do every day to change hearts and minds as well as laws and policies.
As a Nation, may we ensure that George Floyd’s legacy and the legacy of so many others we also honor every day are not solely about their deaths, but what we do to honor their memory.