President Joe Biden who, earlier in the day, said that he was “praying” for the “right verdict” in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial, reportedly phoned George Floyd’s family after hearing Chauvin had been found guilty on all three counts, telling them that he and Vice President Kamala Harris were “relieved” at the verdict.
The Floyd family attorney, Ben Crump, posted a video of the Floyd family speaking to President Joe Biden on Twitter. In it, a member of the Floyd family can be heard asking Biden how he is feeling following the announcement that Chauvin had been convicted.
“Feeling better now. Nothing is going to make it all better, but at least now there is some justice,” Biden responded.
“We’re so relieved,” Biden told the family, speaking for himself and Harris.
Both Biden and Harris weighed in on the trial while the jury was deliberating, despite Judge Peter Cahill’s admonition to public figures that they should refrain from comment, even though the jury was sequestered while they weighed Chauvin’s fate.
“I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case, especially in a manner that’s disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch and our function,” Cahill said, after striking down the defense’s motion for a mistrial on the grounds that legislators, including Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), had unfairly influenced the jury with public commentary.
“I think if they want to give their opinions, they should do so in a respectful and in a manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution to respect a coequal branch of government. Their failure to do so, I think, is abhorrent,” Cahill said, suggesting that Waters’ comments could provide the defense an avenue for a later appeal.
“I can only imagine the pressure and anxiety they are feeling, and so I waited until the jury is sequestered and I called,” Biden said Tuesday, referring to a call he had with the Floyd family following closing arguments in Chauvin’s case. “I wasn’t going to say anything about it. It was a private conversation.”
“They’re a good family and they are calling for peace and tranquility no matter what that verdict is. I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict, which is, I think it’s overwhelming, in my view. I wouldn’t say that unless the jury is sequestered,” Biden added.
Although Biden said he meant the conversation to remain private, Floyd’s family revealed that they had spoken to the president on the Today show on Tuesday.
“He was just calling,” Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, told the NBC program. “He knows how it is to lose a family member, and he knows the process of what we’re going through. So he was just letting us know that he was praying for us, hoping that everything will come out to be OK.”
Kamala Harris joined a number of commentators Tuesday suggesting that a guilty verdict in Chauvin’s trial was the beginning, not the end, of the racial justice movement.
“Let’s say there is a guilty verdict on the highest charge, it will not take away the pain of the Floyd family,” Harris told CNN. “It will not take away the pain of the communities, all communities, regardless of their color or geographic location, that felt sadness and anger in what they witnessed in that video.”
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