George Floyd death: Verdict is a step forward, says US President Joe Biden on Derek Chauvin’s conviction

New Delhi: The United States President Joe Biden on Wednesday (April 21, 2021) expressed that the ‘verdict is a step forward’ after a jury found former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd.
“The verdict is a step forward. And while nothing can ever bring George Floyd back, this can be a giant step forward on the march towards justice in America,” the US President said on Twitter.

While addressing the nation, Joe Biden said, “No one should be above the law. Today’s verdict sends that message, but it is not enough. We can’t stop here. In order to deliver real change and reform, we can and we must do more to reduce the likelihood that tragedies like this ever occur.

“There’s meaningful police reform legislation in George Floyd`s name, but it shouldn`t take a year to get it done. I assured the Floyd family that we’re going to continue to fight for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act so I can sign it into law right away,” Biden added.

The US President further said, ” ‘I can’t breathe’ — those were George Floyd’s last words. We cannot let them die with him. We have to keep hearing them. We must not turn away. We cannot turn away.”

He said that this can be a moment of significant change and expressed, “Let there be a legacy of peace, not violence. Those who see to exploit raw emotions of the moment, fan the flames of division, we can’t let them succeed. This is the time to unite as Americans and fight racial prejudice.” 

US Vice President Kamala Harris said, “We are all part of George Floyd’s legacy. And now our job is to honor it—to honor him.

She added, “Today’s verdict brings us a step closer to making equal justice under law a reality. But the verdict will not heal pain that has existed for generations. It will not take away the pain felt by the Floyd family. That’s why we must recommit to fight for equal justice.”

Biden and Harris also spoke to George Floyd’s family

“We’re all so relieved, not just one verdict but all three. Guilty on all three counts. It’s really important,” Joe Biden said to the family. 

Former US President Barack Obama also released an official statement and said that the jury did the ‘right thing, but true justice requires much more’. 

“Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied,” Obama said.

The former 45-year old Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was charged with killing George Floyd, a black man, by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes. Floyd’s death had triggered worldwide protests (Black Lives Matter movement) against racism in the US.

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