Biden signs police accountability order on anniversary of George Floyd's death

Vigils and rallies planned for two-year anniversary of police killing of black man in Minneapolis

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With US Congress deadlocked over how to address racism and excessive use of force, President Joe Biden signed an executive order on policing to mark the two-year anniversary of George Floyd's death.

The bill pushes for accountability by creating a national database of police misconduct to bolster investigations and discipline, bans chokeholds and restricts no-knock warrants.

“It is a measure of what we can do together to heal the very soul of this nation,” he said.

The bill also requires new standards limiting the use of force and annual anti-bias training, while the president said Congress needs to “get meaningful police reform legislation on my desk”.

The black man was killed on May 25, 2020, at the hands of Minneapolis police officers and his murder ignited protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and around the world as bystander video quickly spread.

Floyd's family, including his daughter, Gianna, were in attendance at the White House.

“I promised the Floyd family, among others, George's name is not just going to be a hashtag daddy's name,” Mr Biden said, addressing Gianna.

A candlelight vigil to honour Floyd‘s memory at the intersection where he died was among the remembrances scheduled in addition to a rally at the governor's residence in St Paul, Minnesota's capital city.

The intersection of 38th and Chicago streets became known informally as George Floyd Square following his death, with a large sculpture of a clenched fist as the centrepiece of memorials.

The city planned to unveil a street sign officially calling the corner George Perry Floyd Square before the vigil, with Floyd’s brother, Terrence, among those attending.

“Today we honour two years since George Floyd was murdered by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement.

“Each day since, we have remembered George Floyd’s life and legacy as a friend, father, brother and loved one. His name has been heard in every corner of our world.”

Floyd died after Chauvin, who is white, pinned his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as Floyd was handcuffed and pleaded that he couldn’t breathe.

Chauvin is serving 22 1/2 years in prison after being convicted of state charges of murder and manslaughter last year.

The ex-officer also pleaded guilty to violating Floyd’s civil rights in a federal case, where he now faces a sentence ranging between 20 and 25 years.

Associated Press contributed to this report

Updated: May 26, 2022, 12:02 AM
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