Harris, who is Black and South Asian American, spoke at the lectern to the country about the significance of Tuesday’s verdicts and how they are still not enough to rectify the generations of systemic, deadly harm put on Black and brown people. She gave her speech before Biden stepped to the microphone.
The jury convicted Chauvin, a white former officer, on all three counts after deliberating for about 10 hours ― second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The verdict completed a trial that was watched across the nation, and it highlighted the deeply rooted problem of police brutality and systemic racism. Chauvin could potentially face decades in prison, depending on his sentencing hearing in the summer.
The verdict itself comes just weeks before the anniversary of Chauvin’s murder of Floyd, a Black man, by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes while other police officers also restrained Floyd or stood by. Floyd’s murder, combined with mounting documented incidents of police violence against Black and brown people, led to a wave of nationwide protests last year against police brutality and racial injustice.
“Here’s the truth about racial injustice: It is not just a Black American problem or a people of color problem. It is a problem for every American. It is keeping us from fulfilling the promise of liberty and justice for all. And it is holding our nation back from realizing our full potential.”
“I am just so thankful for the entire family for your courage, your commitment, your strength,” Harris said during the call, which was posted by the family’s attorney Ben Crump. “This is a day of justice in America, and your family … has been real leaders in this moment when we needed you. In George’s name and memory, we are going to make sure his legacy is intact and that history will look at this moment and know that it was an inflection moment.”
Biden told the family during the call that he was “anxious to see you guys” and to “get a lot more done” to combat systemic racism. In his speech Tuesday evening, the president said that the guilty verdict does not bring Floyd back to life, “but through the family’s pain they’re finding a purpose so George’s legacy will not be just about his death but about what we must do in his memory.”
The vice president brought up the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which as a senator she introduced last summer alongside Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.). The bill is meant to hold law enforcement accountable and help build trust between police and the communities they serve.
This content was originally published here.