United States (US) President Joe Biden has reacted to the guilty verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, describing it as a “step forward.”
“Today, a jury in Minnesota found former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd. The verdict is a step forward,” Biden said.
“And while nothing can ever bring George Floyd back, this can be a giant step forward on the march towards justice in America”
US President Joe Biden
Chauvin was found guilty on two counts of murder and guilty on one count of manslaughter in George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis in May 2020.
Video taken from a cellphone, showing Floyd pleading for help as Chauvin knelt on him for more than nine minutes was seen around the world, igniting a wave of protests over racism and police brutality.
“It was a murder in the full light of day and it ripped the blinders off the whole world to see,” Biden said.
“Systemic racism is a stain on our nation’s soul.”
Biden’s deputy, Kamala Harris has also reacted to the verdict
“Today’s verdict brings us a step closer to making equal justice under law a reality. But the verdict will not heal pain that has existed for generations. It will not take away the pain felt by the Floyd family. That’s why we must recommit to fight for equal justice”
US Vice President Kamala Harris
Biden and Harris call George Floyd’s family
Both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris watched the verdict with staff in the president’s Dining Room. They also called George Floyd’s family and had a brief conversation with them.
“Nothing is going to make it all better, but at least now there’s some justice,” Biden said to the family.
“You’re an incredible family. I wish I were there to put arms around you.”
Harris also said: “In George’s name and memory we are going to make sure his legacy is intact, and that history will look back at this moment and know this is an inflection moment.”
Video of the phone call was posted on Twitter by the Floyd family’s attorney, Ben Crump.
Back in March, the Floyd family reached a $27 million settlement with the City of Minneapolis.