Former Vice President Joe Biden called for justice and accountability for the family of George Floyd, a black man who died shortly after his arrest by the Minneapolis Police Department.
Watch Biden’s remarks in the player above.
Speaking from his home in Wilmington, Delaware during a virtual event with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, Biden said he appreciates the firing of the four officers involved in Floyd’s death, but he said, “I don’t think that’s enough.”
“They have to be held more fully accountable,” Biden said. “Because we have to get to the root of all this.”
“George Floyd’s life matters. It mattered as much as mine and matters as much as anyone in this country. At least it should have,” Biden said.
The four officers were dismissed soon after a bystander’s video taken outside a south Minneapolis grocery store Monday night showed an officer kneeling on the handcuffed man’s neck, even after he pleaded that he could not breathe and stopped moving. Floyd’s death prompted protests Tuesday, with thousands taking to the streets at the intersection where he died.
The FBI and state law enforcement are investigating Floyd’s death, which immediately drew comparisons to the case of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died in 2014 in New York after he was placed in a chokehold by police and pleaded for his life, saying he could not breathe.
But whether the incident will be considered criminal, or even excessive force, is a more complicated question that will likely take months to investigate.
“We have to work relentlessly to eradicate these systemic failures that inflict so much damage on not just one family, one community, but on the people of color all across this nation,” Biden said.