Obama marks anniversary of George Floyd murder under shadow of Texas shooting
Former President Obama recognized the second anniversary of George Floyd’s murder on Wednesday, reiterating calls for cities to review their police use-of-force policies.
Obama’s statement comes as the nation also reacts to Tuesday’s mass shooting at an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school that left 19 children and two teachers dead.
“As we grieve the children of Uvalde today, we should take time to recognize that two years have passed since the murder of George Floyd under the knee of a police officer. His killing stays with us all to this day, especially those who loved him,” Obama tweeted.
Floyd’s murder by now-former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in 2020 set off a nationwide movement for social equality and policing reform.
“In the aftermath of his murder, a new generation of activists rose up to channel their anguish into organized action, launching a movement to raise awareness of systemic racism and the need for criminal justice and police reform,” Obama added.
“Inspired by these young leaders, @MBK_Alliance launched a Reimagining Policing Pledge for mayors and cities ready to take action,” Obama said.
The My Brother’s Keeper Alliance was started by Obama in 2014 following the death of Trayvon Martin — a Black teen who had just left a convenience store and was shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer in 2012. Martin’s death helped spark the Black Lives Matter movement.
The alliance’s Reimagining Police Pledge calls on mayors and local officials to review their police use-of-force policies and seek feedback from their communities.
President Biden on Wednesday signed a long-awaited executive order establishing a nationwide database of officers fired for misconduct in lieu of bipartisan policing legislation the president had hoped to sign by this time last year. Civil rights leaders have long urged Biden to sign an executive order while cautioning the burden is on Congress to enact permanent changes.
“It’s a measure of what we can do together to heal the very soul of this nation,” Biden said at a signing ceremony.
The order also requires federal law enforcement agencies to update their use-of-force policies. The Justice Department this week also issued a memo requiring officers to intervene if another is using excessive force.
“The message is clear. Enough. Just enough,” Biden said.