Crump decries lack of progress since Floyd’s murder: ‘Black people still can’t breathe’

Attorney Ben Crump penned a Washington Post op-ed saying it's been two years, and we haven’t gotten the George Floyd police reform bill passed by Congress.

As the two-year anniversary of George Floyd’s public murder in Minneapolis looms, Floyd family attorney Ben Crump penned a resounding call for police reform in The Washington Post. In the Monday op-ed, Crump contends that “Black people still can’t breathe,” noting that current policies in place are detrimental to Black Americans.

Crump opened his piece by mentioning Floyd’s 2020 murder by now-imprisoned Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin — caught on video that went viral — which sparked protests around the world, unified calls for police reform, and continued to fuel the Black Lives Matter movement. Crump also zeroed in on the sense of dread Black Americans face during confrontations with police.

Floyd family attorney Ben Crump participates in an interview on May 25, 2021, the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death, in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“While White people watched the grueling 9 minutes and 29 seconds it took officers to slowly extinguish Floyd’s life and reacted with shock, Black people responded with fear,” read a portion of Crump’s op-ed.

“That’s why Floyd’s dying words — ‘I can’t breathe’ — spoke for us all,” he wrote. “People of all races took to the streets to demand accountability, justice and reform. But most of all, Black people wanted security — the chance to exhale, to experience the serenity of knowing we would not continue to be targeted for harm based on the color of our skin.”

Crump continued the conversation during an episode of Washington Post Live, as seen on Mediaite. The attorney reminded his audience that the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act has stalled.

“This is the second year after George Floyd when we really believed that it was going to be a wake-up call or a tipping point where we didn’t see so many of these unjust, highly questionable killings by police,” Crump told The Post.

“I continue to say, you know, very honestly, regrettably, that it’s been two years,” he added, “and Black people still can’t breathe because we haven’t got that George Floyd police reform bill passed by the United States Congress.”

Floyd died on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after convicted former Minneapolis Police officer Chauvin performed a restraining maneuver that obstructed Floyd’s breath. Last year, Chauvin was convicted of Floyd’s murder and sentenced to 22.5 years in prison.

In February, Chauvin’s former-officer brethren Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng were convicted of depriving Floyd of his civil rights while acting under government authority for not coming to his medical assistance. Thao and Kueng were also convicted for not stopping Chauvin from the excessive force that left Floyd dead.

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