Joe Biden says George Floyd’s death had a bigger 'worldwide impact' than MLK's assassination
Joe Biden while participating in a round table in Philadelphia on Wednesday claimed that the death of George Floyd was bigger than the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. With a mask dangling from his ear, the 2020 Democratic presumptive nominee said that "even Dr. King’s assassination did not have the worldwide impact that George Floyd’s death did."
“Because just like television changed the civil rights movement for the better when they saw Bull Connor’s dogs ripping the clothes off of elderly black women who were trying to go to church, and fire hoses ripping the skin off of young kids,” he said. Bull Connor was a Democrat and then commissioner of Public Safety for Birmingham, Alabama.
“That — all those folks around the country who didn’t have any black populations heard about this, but they didn’t believe it, but they saw it, it was impossible for them to close their eyes,” Biden continued. “Well, what happened to George Floyd, now you’ve got how many people around the country? Millions of cell phones, it’s changed the way everybody’s looking at this,” he said. “Look at the millions of people marching around the world.”
The former vice president met with members of Floyd's family and sent a video message for his funeral in the days following his tragic death while in Minneapolis police custody. Biden said that African Americans continue to live in fear of wondering if they'll be the next victim of police brutality. “People all across this country are enraged and rightly so. Everyday African-Americans go about their lives with constant anxiety and trauma of wondering, ‘Will I be next?’ Sounds like an exaggeration but it’s not,” he said on May 29.
The 77-year-old faced criticism when he met with black community leaders in Wilmington, Delaware on June 1. He was lambasted for his support of the controversial 1994 crime bill and pressured to pick a black female running mate for his 2020 bid.
“Over the eight years you were vice president, there was lots of successes, but the African-American community did not experience the same economic opportunity and upward mobility that they did in the '90s,” state Senator Darius Brown told Biden.
Meanwhile, Rev Shanika Perry brought up concerns that young voters had with his support of the 1994 crime bill. “It’s been difficult to serve as a surrogate to them because they have great issues with the participation in that. And so they want to know how do you plan to undo the impact of the mass incarceration and the things that have resulted from that particular crime bill,” she told the former vice president.
Considering, Biden promised to set up a "police oversight board" in his first 100 days as president. He recalled that during the Obama administration, they had "set up, in the Justice Department, the ability for the Civil Rights Division to go in and look at the practices and policies of police departments. That’s why we were able to stop stop-and-frisk."
“Reestablish that with more teeth in it. Because we also have to fundamentally change the way in which police are trained,” he added.