PHOENIX - May 25 marks one year since George Floyd was killed by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin after he pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes.
His horrific and public death sparked an international movement, calling out racial injustice and demanding change.
That change is coming in the form of police reform. May 25 is also significant because it is the deadline President Joe Biden set for passage of federal police reform with a bill called the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
The bill passed the House, but stalled in the Senate over the issue of qualified immunity. Both sides said they'll miss the deadline, but they're continuing to make progress.
On Tuesday, Floyd's family will meet with Biden at the White House. It's one of several ways the nation is recognizing Floyd.
The plaza where Floyd died last year will be transformed into an outdoor festival. Organizers say they want to celebrate a year of strength while fighting injustice.
Arizonan killed in 2020 trooper-involved shooting remembered
In Arizona, events are not only remembering Floyd, but also Dion Johnson. Johnson was shot and killed by a Department of Public Safety trooper on the same day.
A benefit concert will be held to raise money for Johnson's family. It will be held at the Monarch Theatre near Washington and First Avenue in Phoenix from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Johnson's shooting sparked waves of protests around the Valley. DPS says Johnson was sleeping in his car on the Loop 101 freeway near Tatum Boulevard. Trooper George Cervantes says Johnson woke up, started to fight him, and tried to grab his gun.
Reports indicate a gun was found in the vehicle, but there was no body camera or dash cam video of what happened.
The Maricopa County Attorney has declined to charge the trooper involved
"Deep down in my heart, I knew they wasn’t gonna charge him for my son’s murder," said Johnson's mother, Erma Johnson.
According to the County Attorney, evidence supported Trooper Cervantes’ claim that he acted in self defense and feared for his life, as he struggled with Johnson while trying to arrest him.
Johnson's family has filed a civil lawsuit against Trooper Cervantes and the State of Arizona, demanding a jury trial.
"All you have is one version of the story that’s uncorroborated," said Jocquese Blackwell, an attorney for the Johnson family. "What actually took place inside the vehicle? You have to try the case, let the jury decide what’s going to happen."
Deaths sparked calls for police reform
The deaths of Johnson and Floyd sparked calls for change in policing.
In the last year, Phoenix Police stopped the use of carotid control technique, which is a type of stranglehold that shuts off the blood supply to the brain.
Last week, the Phoenix City Council voted to move forward with creating a civilian oversight board.
Several groups are actively working to bridge the divide between communities and law enforcement.
Alan Powell with the HeroZona Foundation has been speaking with protesters and young police officers.
"To get an understanding.. we're going to actually work with the young individuals in the community and family.. what they would like to see from the police officers."
Powell says he's had more than 50 police chiefs across the nation participate in different forums, pushing for a better tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Rep. Ruben Gallego has issued a statement on police reform that reads:
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