President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are addressing the nation Tuesday night, after the jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin found him guilty of murdering George Floyd. The jury found Chauvin guilty on all three charges — second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Mr. Biden and Harris watched the verdict with their staff in the White House’s private dining room. After the verdict was read, Mr. Biden, Harris and First Lady Jill Biden spoke with Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, from the Oval Office, according to the White House. According to a video shared by Ben Crump, the lead lawyer for the Floyd family, Mr. Biden told them, “there’s some justice now.” Mr. Biden also spoke with Governor Tim Walz.
Chauvin’s bail was immediately revoked, meaning he will spend his time until sentencing in prison. He will be sentenced in eight weeks. In Minnesota, second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. Third-degree murder is punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Second-degree manslaughter is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
But sentencing guidelines recommend less time for offenders with no criminal history.
How to watch President Biden’s remarks on Chauvin verdict
- What: President Biden speaks after Derek Chauvin convicted of murder
- Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2021
- Location: White House
- Online stream: Live on CBSN in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device
Mr. Biden has been paying close attention to the trial, and spoke with Floyd’s family on Monday, ahead of the verdict.
The president was scheduled to give remarks Tuesday night on the American Jobs Plan, but his remarks were rescheduled in light of the verdict.
Earlier Tuesday, Mr. Biden said he was “praying the verdict is the right verdict, which is — I think it’s overwhelming, in my view.”
After those remarks, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said she didn’t think the president would consider that weighing in on the verdict.
Ahead of the verdict, Vice President Kamala Harris on CNN said even a guilty verdict cannot “take away the pain.”
“Let’s say there is a guilty verdict on the highest charge, it will not take away the pain of the Floyd family,” the vice president said on 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.”
The legal team representing George Floyd’s family released a statement after the verdict supporting the jury’s verdict, calling the decision “painfully earned justice.”
“Painfully earned justice has arrived for George Floyd’s family and the community here in Minneapolis, but today’s verdict goes far beyond this city and has significant implications for the country and even the world,” said attorney Benjamin Crump. “Justice for Black America is justice for all of America. This case is a turning point in American history for accountability of law enforcement and sends a clear message we hope is heard clearly in every city and every state.”
Floyd’s killing in May sparked worldwide protests and a reckoning on race in the U.S.