President Joe Biden released an extensive statement to commemorate George Floyd on Saturday. Floyd’s death, while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, led to a summer marked by protests and unrest that resulted in over $2 billion in damages across the nation.
In recent days, there have been concerns raised about some affiliations within the Black Lives Matter movement, with critics accusing it of being overly sympathetic to Hamas and critical of Israel to the extent that it could be seen as promoting antisemitism. The co-founder of BLM expressed a stance advocating for the total elimination of Israel.
Joe Biden pays tribute to BLM hero George Floyd on his 50th birthday.
BLM has recently come under fire for being so pro-Hamas. https://t.co/3YOzKRj4ZP
— Arch Kennedy (@ArchKennedy) October 14, 2023
In Saturday’s statement, Biden asserted that the extensive protests during the summer of 2020 constituted “one of the largest civil rights movements in our nation’s history and inspired the world.”
However, this movement prompted numerous municipalities to consider reducing funding for their police departments, resulting in a surge in crime rates in various areas. Widespread looting became a recurring issue, and it continues to affect many cities, including San Francisco. The decrease in law enforcement presence in major urban areas contributed to the closure of many businesses due to increased violence and crime.
In response to allegations of mistreatment by police during these protests, these same cities have been obliged to pay approximately $68 million in settlements to individuals involved in the riots.
Biden highlighted his role in supporting police reform, underscoring his executive order, which banned certain law enforcement practices. He urged Congress to pass comprehensive police reform, although the specifics of such reform and its potential impact on a nation contending with around 5 million undocumented immigrants and escalating crime remain uncertain.
A bill bearing Floyd’s name, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, is presently at a standstill in the House as Republicans and Democrats grapple with disagreements over various provisions, including the cessation of no-knock warrants and qualified immunity.
Biden issued an executive order that incorporated several elements from the bill, such as prohibiting chokeholds, placing limitations on no-knock warrants and creating a database for police misconduct.
Biden also reiterated his commitment to gun control and limiting Second Amendment rights. In September, the White House unveiled the establishment of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention.
The office will be tasked with four key responsibilities, which encompass executing strategies, identifying fresh initiatives, broadening partnerships with states and cities and facilitating assistance for survivors, such as mental health services and financial support.