(Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden showed compassion that “meant the world” to George Floyd’s family on Monday, according to a lawyer for relatives of the black man who died in police custody.
Biden met with Floyd’s relatives in Houston for more than an hour, said lawyer Benjamin Crump, who posted a picture on Twitter after the meeting including Biden, Floyd’s uncle Roger and civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton.
“He listened, heard their pain, and shared in their woe,” Crump said of the private meeting. “That compassion meant the world to this grieving family.”
Floyd died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
On Monday, mourners gathered in Floyd’s Texas hometown at a public viewing ahead of a private funeral service scheduled for Tuesday. The former vice president was expected to record a statement for the service.
Biden, who first spoke with Floyd’s family more than a week ago, has called for policies addressing “systemic racism.” He also accused his Nov. 3 election opponent, President Donald Trump, of stoking division following street demonstrations that spread worldwide.
Biden told CBS that he and his wife Jill spoke with the “incredible family” about how “it’s hard enough to grieve, but it’s much harder to do it in public.”
Trump has also spoken with Floyd’s family in a call that Floyd’s brother Philonise said in interviews was brief and that he was hurt by not having an opportunity to say very much. On Monday, the president said at an event that he is considering policing reforms.
Biden’s trip to Texas comes as his staff grapples with how to campaign during the coronavirus pandemic. Biden only left his Delaware home a handful of times since shutdowns began in March, but had not traveled further than Philadelphia.
Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in New York; Additional reporting by Steve Holland in Washington; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Stephen Coates