News Update

The jury has returned a verdict in Derek Chauvin's trial over the death of George Floyd. It's expected to be read shortly.

President Biden speaks during a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the Oval Office on Tuesday, April 20.
President Biden speaks during a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the Oval Office on Tuesday, April 20. Doug Mills/Pool/Getty Images

President Biden said Tuesday that he is praying for the right verdict in the trial if ex-Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, noting that the evidence, in his view, is “overwhelming.”

 The remarks, made in the Oval Office during a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, mark a rare moment by the President of weighing in by strongly suggesting what he thinks the outcome of the trial should be before the jury has reached a verdict.

Biden, who also elaborated on his Monday conversation with the family of George Floyd, said he was only making the comments because the jury is sequestered.

“They’re a good family, and they’re calling for peace and tranquility, no matter what that verdict is. I’m praying that the verdict is the right verdict, which is, I think it’s overwhelming in my view. I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered now, not hear me say that,” he told reporters in the Oval Office in response to a question from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. 

Biden echoed remarks from Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, that they had a private conversation Tuesday discussing loss. 

“I’ve come to know George’s family, not just in passing. I’ve spent time with them, I’ve spent time with his little daughter Gianna — you should see this beautiful child — and his brother, both brothers, as a matter of fact. So I can only imagine the pressure and anxiety that they’re feeling. And so I waited until the jury was sequestered, and then I called,” he said.

The jury has started day two of deliberations in the trial of Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd.

As CNN has previously reported, the White House is closely monitoring developments and making contingency plans in case of unrest. Aides are considering or drafting statements for Biden to deliver, either in person or in writing, once a verdict is delivered.

Biden is trying to strike a balance between acknowledging racial inequity while also maintaining calm, wanting neither to replicate the heavily militarized response to protests under Trump nor to appear absent in the face of violence or unrest directed at law enforcement, all while acknowledging the systemic racism that pervades the system.


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