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 going to start to change now. We’re going to start to change now.”
“We’re so relieved,” Biden told the family, speaking for himself and Harris.
“You’ve been incredible, you’re an incredible family, I wish I was there to put my arms around you,” Biden can be heard on the video telling the Floyd family.
He then said that he was glad Chauvin was found “guilty on all three — on all three counts,” calling the jury’s decision “really important.”
“We’re going to get a lot more done,” Biden told the family.
Harris, who was also on the call, added that she was “so thankful to the entire family.”
“Your courage, your commitment, your strength,” Harris said. “This is a day of justice in America.”
“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 that this is an inflection moment,” Harris continued. “He had to sacrifice so much and your family did too. But we believe, with your leadership and, and the president that we have in the White House, that we’re going to make something good come out of this tragedy, okay?”
Biden closed the call by offering to meet with the Floyd family and host them at the White House when they pass police reform.
“And you better all get ready because when we do it we’re going to put you on Air Force One and get you here. I guarantee it,” Biden said.
President Biden and VP Harris call the Floyd family after the GUILTY verdict! Thank you @POTUS & @VP for your support! We hope that we can count on you for the police reform we NEED in America! ✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/cg4V2D5tlI
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) April 20, 2021
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 on the Today show on Tuesday that they had spoken to the president.
“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.”