Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who also spoke at the White House, urged Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The Criminal Justice Reform Bill passed in the House but not in the Senate. Biden stressed the need for action and called on Americans not to forget Floyd’s last words: “I can’t breathe.”
“This can be a time of significant change,” he said.
The president pointed to how many factors – someone to tape the murder, a nearly 10-minute video, police officers testifying against one of their own, among others – it took to reach a decision which, according to him, was “far too infrequent.”
“For so many people, it seems like it took a unique and extraordinary convergence of factors … it seems like it took everything for the justice system to deliver just and basic accountability,” he said. declared.
After the verdict, Biden called the Floyd family and said he was “relieved” by the verdict, according to a video posted on Twitter by lawyer Ben Crump. Harris and First Lady Jill Biden were also on call.
“Nothing is going to make it any better, but at least now there’s a little bit of justice,” Biden said over the phone. On police reform, including the bill named after Floyd, he added, “We’re going to do a lot. We’re going to stay there until we do.
In his remarks, Biden recounted meeting Floyd’s daughter, Gianna, at Floyd’s funeral, where she told him, “Daddy changed the world.”
“I told him this afternoon, ‘Daddy changed the world’. Let this be his legacy, ”he said.
The decision came after a 16-day trial that dominated news networks and captured the nation’s attention as it faces an account over race and the police. During the trial, a police officer shot dead Daunte Wright, 20, in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis.
Earlier Tuesday, when the jury was sequestered, Biden told reporters in the Oval Office he was “asking that the verdict be the correct verdict, which is – I think it’s overwhelming, in my opinion.”
In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash before the verdict, Harris said there would still be pain, even if the jury found Chauvin guilty.
“Let’s say there’s a guilty verdict on the highest charge, that won’t take the pain out of the Floyd family.” This will not take away the pain of communities, all communities, regardless of color or location, who have felt sadness and anger in what they witnessed in this video, ”he said. she stated, referring to footage of Floyd’s death presented by the prosecution.
Chauvin’s conviction is expected to take place in eight weeks.