President Joe Biden called the guilty verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin “a step forward,” but also said that the nation still has to reckon with systemic racism in all walks of life, including policing.
Biden said the guilty verdict is “much too rare” and “not enough.”
Chauvin was found guilty on two counts of murder and guilty on one count of manslaughter in Floyd’s death in Minneapolis in May. The video of Floyd pleading for help as the former officer Chauvin knelt on him for more than nine minutes was seen around the world last year, igniting a wave of protests over police brutality.
“It was a murder in the full light of day and it ripped the blinders off the whole world to see,” he said. “Systemic racism is a stain on our nation’s soul.”
Biden, in his most direct comments on the case and race in America, noted the police officers who stepped up during the trial to testify for the prosecution in the case “instead of closing ranks.” He gave credit to the activists who protested and the “brave young woman” who recorded Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes.
The president described it as a “unique convergence of factors” to reach this verdict. “For so many,” the president continued, “it feels like it took all of that for the judicial system to deliver basic accountability.”