George Floyd: Daughter Gianna, 7, visits White House and leads 'say his name' chant, a year after father's murder

·3-min read

George Floyd's daughter led a chant of "say his name" outside the White House, a year after the 46-year-old man was murdered by a police officer.

Gianna, seven, joined other members of her family and their legal team as they met President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

And Chris Stewart, one of the Floyd family lawyers, said the president even played with the bereaved young girl - "she had an absolute ball" with the leader of the free world who is a grandfather himself, Mr Stewart said.

Footage taken and shared on social media was central to the conviction of Derek Chauvin for murder.

Now, a month after the "guilty" verdict was read out in a Minneapolis courtroom, the US president has told his country that "our progress can't stop there", as events took place across the nation to mark the anniversary.

Mr Biden said: "Today, in the Oval Office, I met with George Floyd's family.

"Although it has been one year since their beloved brother and father was murdered, for the family - for any family experiencing a profound loss - the first year can still feel like they got the news a few seconds ago. And they've had to relive that pain and grief each and every time those horrific nine minutes and 29 seconds have been replayed.

"Yet the Floyd family has shown extraordinary courage, especially his young daughter Gianna, who I met again today. The day before her father's funeral a year ago, Jill and I met the family and she told me, 'Daddy changed the world.'

"He has.

"His murder launched a summer of protest we hadn't seen since the Civil Rights era in the '60s - protests that peacefully unified people of every race and generation to collectively say enough of the senseless killings."

He added: "To deliver real change, we must have accountability when law enforcement officers violate their oaths, and we need to build lasting trust between the vast majority of the men and women who wear the badge honourably and the communities they are sworn to serve and protect.

"We can and must have both accountability and trust and in our justice system."

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives approved a sweeping bill in March that would make it easier for individual police officers to be sued and charged with crimes.

It would also ban chokeholds, limit no-knock warrants (warrants allowing law enforcement to enter a property without telling residents beforehand) and create a national database of officers with histories of complaints and disciplinary problems.

Republicans and Democrats are negotiating to get the bill through the Senate.

Among the stumbling blocks is a move to limit qualified immunity, which protects police officers from most civil lawsuits.

Mr Biden said he hopes the bill will "get to my desk quickly".

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Meanwhile, demonstrators taking one knee across Britain said the tributes help to ensure the Black Lives Matter movement is "not just a moment".

Crowds gathered in dozens in city centres and took a knee as part of co-ordinated tributes to Mr Floyd, while many demonstrated individually at home or their workplace.

James Eaden joined about 50 people at Rykneld Square in Chesterfield as part of the action, which he said was an "important part" of continuing the message of the Black Lives Matter movement.

He said: "We have made important strides in taking an anti-racist message into our community... but racism continues."

Campaigners have also issued warnings over proposed reforms to stop and search powers.

You can watch a special programme looking at the wider issue of racial equality in the wake of George Floyd's death.

George Floyd: From Murder To Justice? is on Sky News at 9pm on Wednesday.