Joe Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee, is expected to attend the funeral of George Floyd, the Minneapolis man whose death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer sparked a week of anti-police brutality demonstrations across the country, according to a report from CNN.
“Plans are being discussed” but “arrangements have not been finalized,” the outlet said Wednesday, noting that while a spokesman for Biden’s campaign refused to comment on the matter, an attorney for George Floyd’s family, Ben Crump, told the network that Biden is expected to be in attendance.
Floyd’s funeral will be held in Houston, Texas, next week and it is expected to draw hundreds, if not thousands, of attendees. There will be a public memorial service on Thursday in Minneapolis.
Biden has done his best to inject himself into the national conversation surrounding Floyd’s death, giving several speeches on the subject of racial unrest, inequality, and police violence, though in many cases having difficulty squaring his own call for major reforms with his position as the vice president for nearly a decade.
On Monday, Biden gave a speech in Delaware outlining his plan to address “institutionalized racism” within his first 100 days in office, proposing that he would convene a panel on reforming police culture and strategy, but his message was lost after Biden suggested that police officers facing situations where deadly force is warranted aim for a suspect’s legs rather than center mass.
On Tuesday, Biden spoke in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, beginning his speech,”‘I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.’ George Floyd’s last words. But they didn’t die with him. They’re still being heard. They’re echoing across this nation.” He condemned President Donald Trump’s response to the protests, specifically criticizing a photo opportunity Trump took on Monday, posing with his Bible in front of St. John’s Church in Washington, D.C.
Over the last week, Biden says he’s also spoken to Floyd’s family.
Members of the Obama administration seem intent on injecting themselves into the ongoing demonstrations. Former President Barack Obama will host an “online town hall” on police reform Wednesday night, even though, as the White House’s resident from 2009 until 2016, he had the opportunity to address the issue of criminal justice as a priority.
Both Biden and Obama do know that the issue plays well with the Democratic voter base, and that is becoming evident in polls. According to CNBC Wednesday, betting markets put Biden well ahead of Trump this week, giving him a considerable lead over the current “to date in Smarkets, a U.K.-based online gambling platform, as well as PredictIt, an online betting platform established by researchers in New Zealand.”
“As recently as last week, Trump was favored to win on both platforms. Biden’s chances have risen to 50% – 43% on Smarkets and 53% – 46% on PredictIt,” the outlet reported.
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