WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Bidensaid Tuesday the conviction of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd “can be a giant step forward” for the nation in the fight against systemic racism.
Biden spoke from the White House hours after the verdict alongside Vice President Kamala Harris, with the pair calling for Congress to act swiftly to address policing reform.
“It’s not enough,” Biden said of the verdict. “We can’t stop here.”
Biden lauded the officers who testified in the trial instead of closing ranks and keeping quiet.
He said it is so important to ensure Black and brown people don’t fear interaction with law enforcement.
Biden, Harris and first lady Jill Biden called members of the Floyd family moments after the verdict, according to video posted by family attorney Ben Crump.
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
Biden told the family, “Nothing is going to make it all better, but at least now there is some justice.”
He added, “We’re all so relieved.”
Biden said he hoped the verdict would give momentum to congressional police reform efforts.