White House Reacts to Derek Chauvin Verdict
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday praised the twelve Minnesota jurors who found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and third-degree manslaughter in the 2020 slaying of George Floyd.
“Today’s verdict is a step forward,” said Biden, who referred to Floyd’s family as being of “extraordinary courage.”
Biden said that “nothing can ever bring their brother, their father, back. But this can be a giant step toward justice in America. Let’s also be clear,” the president continued, “that such a verdict is much too rare. For so many people, it seems like it took a unique and extraordinary convergence of factors – a brave young woman with a smartphone camera, a crowd that was traumatized, traumatized witnesses – a murder that last almost ten minutes in broad daylight for ultimately the whole world to see.”
Biden noted the willingness of “officers standing up to testify against a fellow officer instead if just closing ranks, which should be commended,” and underscored the “fear that people of color feel every day” for their safety.
“Black men, in particular, have been treated throughout the course of our history as less than human. Their lives must be valued in — our nation. Full stop,” Biden stressed.
“I can’t breathe. Those were George Floyd’s last words,” Biden said. “We can’t let those words die with him. We have to keep hearing those words. We must not turn away. We can’t turn away.”
Harris, meanwhile, said that “today, we feel a sigh of relief. Still, it cannot take away the pain. A measure of justice is not the same as equal justice,” adding that “history will look back at this moment and see it as an inflection moment.”