President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the nation Tuesday night about the jury verdict in the Derek Chauvin case. Biden called the verdict “a unique but giant step forward for justice in America.”
“Today a jury in Minnesota found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts of the murder of George Floyd,” the president said, speaking at the White House. “This murder, which occurred in broad daylight, blew the blinders off for all the world to see… systemic racism – a stigma on the soul of our nation.”
Vice President Kamala Harris said the country still has work to do.
“We breathed a sigh of relief today. However, it will not take away our pain. A fair decision is not justice for all… We still have to reform the system,” Harris said.
Kamala Harris urged lawmakers in Congress to pass the George Floyd Act to prevent police misconduct. She said the Biden administration will continue to urge the Senate to pass the law.
“This legislation will hold law enforcement accountable and help build trust between law enforcement and our communities,” stressed Harris, who introduced the legislation last summer as a senator, “This bill is part of George Floyd’s legacy.
“The truth about racial injustice is that it’s not just a problem for black Americans … It’s a problem for all Americans,” the vice president concluded.
Former President Barack Obama also reacted to the Derek Chauvin conviction, saying that “the jury did the right thing. But true justice demands so much more.” According to Obama, “true justice… requires us to do the sometimes thankless, often difficult, but always necessary work to make the America we know more like the America we believe in.”
A Minneapolis jury today found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter (third-degree murder) and negligent homicide of George Floyd.
The jury reached its verdict after examining testimony from 45 witnesses, including random bystanders, police officers and medical examiners, as well as hours of video footage.
Chauvin, 45, pleaded not guilty. According to Reuters, under Minnesota law, Chauvin faces about 12 years in prison for the murder because the defendant has no prior felony convictions. However, prosecutors could ask for an extension of his sentence to 40 years if Judge Peter Cahill found “aggravating circumstances” in the murder of George Floyd.