President Joe Biden is speaking out after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday on all counts in the death of George Floyd. Chauvin was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Shortly after news of the verdict broke, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris called the Floyd family to speak to them directly.
“Nothing is going to make it all better but at least now there’s some justice,” Biden said. “We’re going to start to change [the world] now. You’re an incredible family. I wish I were there to just be around you.”
“We’re all so relieved … and I’m so anxious to see you guys, I really am,” he continued. “We’re going to get a lot more done.”
President Biden and VP Harris call the Floyd family after the GUILTY verdict! Thank you @POTUS & @VP for your support! We hope that we can count on you for the police reform we NEED in America! ✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/cg4V2D5tlI
Meanwhile, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton took to Twitter to react to the news.
“Today, a jury did the right thing. But true justice requires much more,” Obama tweeted. “Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied.”
Today, a jury did the right thing. But true justice requires much more. Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied. pic.twitter.com/mihZQHqACV
“George Floyd’s family and community deserved for his killer to be held accountable,” added Clinton. “Today, they got that accountability. Always and forever, Black lives matter.”
George Floyd's family and community deserved for his killer to be held accountable.
Today, they got that accountability.
Always and forever, Black lives matter.
As CBS News reported on Tuesday, Judge Peter Cahill read the verdict at the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis, where the trial began last month, and said that sentencing will take place in about eight weeks. Chauvin was taken away in handcuffs.
The jury — made up of six White people, four Black people and two multiracial people — heard 13 days of testimony, according to CBS News. Cahill sent the jurors to begin deliberations after attorneys on both sides concluded lengthy closing arguments Monday. The outlet also reports that the jury was sequestered during deliberations, but was not sequestered during the earlier portion of the trial.
In his closing argument, prosecutor Steve Schleicher urged jurors to focus on the video showing Chauvin pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. “Believe your eyes,” Schleicher said. “Unreasonable force, pinning him to the ground — that’s what killed him. This was a homicide.”
“This case is exactly what you thought when you first saw it — when you first saw the video,” he continued. “It’s exactly that. It’s exactly what you saw with your eyes. It’s exactly what you knew. It’s exactly what you felt in your gut. It’s what you now know in your heart. This wasn’t policing, this was murder.”
Hear more in the video below.
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