To commemorate the one year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin — a tragedy that sparked a global reckoning over racism and police brutality — BET dedicated the week to honoring Floyd’s memory and examining ways that the country has changed as a result of his death.
A series of programs have been presented that do just that including “Bars And Ballads For George Floyd,” a powerful montage of interviews, vignettes, musical performances and spoken word poetry by Amanda Gorman.
In another program, “Justice Now: Race & Reckoning,” Soledad O’Brien convened notable names in the worlds of politics, law enforcement, corporate America, Hollywood, and sports to address America’s racial reckoning one-year later with a focus on accountability, celebrating real, institutional change and calling out superficial efforts.
Lastly, “Justice Now: The Way Forward,” which airs on Thursday, May 27 at 8PM EST, O’Brien brings to the table African American thought leaders from various fields to address the persistent barriers to change that have impeded the Black community for generations. From opposition to police reform, barriers to economic advancement, and accumulated trauma experienced in a post George Floyd America. The conversation attempts to find solutions that can finally bring about true racial and economic justice.
The Biden Administration remains committed to turning words into actions, supporting the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act and more. President Joe Biden’s senior advisor Cedric Richmond hopped on Instagram Live with BET’s VP of Social Impact Brittany Packnett Cunningham to discuss the way forward for Black people.
Asked by Cunningham about Floyd’s family visiting the White House earlier this week, on the one year anniversary of his death, Richmond says President Biden “knows first hand how hard it is that first year is and he wanted to talk to them, let them know that you know, he was worried about them and check in on them but also that he was still committed to getting meaningful legislation done.”
As for that legislation, namely the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act which is currently sitting with Congress, Richmond says, “what we told the family yesterday and what we mean is that it has to be a substantive bill if it’s going to bear his name.”
Richmond says the Biden administration defines substantive as one that will “hold more police officers accountable but [also] we have to rebuild that trust in the community that police are being forthright and that bill has to address all of those things and it has to have accountability for officers like Chauvin and others who use excessive force and who either injure or kill people.”
See the full conversation between Packnett Cunningham and Richmond below, and tune in to “Justice Now: The Way Forward” on BET tonight at 8PM.