President Biden said it took "a unique and extraordinary convergence of factors" for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to be found guilty of George Floyd's murder — a verdict that is "much too rare" when it comes to police brutality cases.
This was a "murder in the full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see systemic racism," Biden said during a televised address. He praised the "brave young woman with a smartphone camera" who recorded Chauvin with his knee on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes, and said the police officers who testified against Chauvin "instead of just closing ranks" should be "commended." It took all of that, plus a "jury who heard the evidence and carried out their civic duty in the midst of an extraordinary moment," to deliver "just basic accountability," Biden said.
Most men and women in law enforcement "serve their communities honorably, but those few who fail to meet that standard must be held accountable, and today, one was," Biden said. The verdict sends the message that "no one should be above the law," yet "it's not enough," and "in order to deliver real change and reform, we must do more to reduce the likelihood that a tragedy like this ever happens again."
Biden called on state and local governments, as well as the federal government, to "step up" and take action to fix the racial disparities in policing and the criminal justice system. He ended his remarks on a hopeful note, saying, "This can be a moment of significant change."