Biden calls for DOJ Civil Rights Division to investigate George Floyd’s death

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Wednesday called on the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to investigate the death of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who was killed during an encounter with Minneapolis police officers.

Speaking at a virtual event with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D), Biden praised Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) for taking “swift action” to fire the officers involved

But he said the federal government must investigate further.

“[The officers] have to be held more fully accountable, including an FBI investigation and independent Department of Justice Civil Rights investigation,” Biden said.

The Minneapolis Police Department said Tuesday the FBI would participate in its investigation of the death.

“We have to get to the root of all this,” Biden said. “You know, we have to ensure that the Floyd family receive the justice they’re entitled to, and as a nation … we have to work relentlessly to eradicate these systemic failures that inflict so much damage on not just one family, one community, but on the people of color all across this nation.”

A video that emerged from the scene showing an officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck until he passed out has sparked outraged and elicited comparisons to the death of Eric Garner, who died in 2014 after an officer put him in a chokehold.

Both Garner and Floyd pleaded with the officers, saying that they were unable to breathe before they died.

“Watching [Floyd’s] life be taken in the same manner, echoing nearly the same words of Eric Garner more than five years ago, ‘I can’t breathe,’ is a tragic reminder that this was not an isolated incident, but a part of an ingrained, systemic cycle of injustice that still exists in this country,” Biden said.

“It cuts at the very heart of our sacred belief that all Americans are equal in rights and in dignity, and it sends a very clear message to the black community and to black lives that are under threat every single day,” he added.

Tags civil rights DOJ FBI George Floyd Jacob Frey Joe Biden Minneapolis Police Department Tom Wolfe

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