While delivering remarks on Tuesday, Biden said, “The battle for the soul of this nation has been a constant push and pull for more than 240 years — a tug of war between the American ideal that we’re all created equal and the harsh reality that racism has long torn us apart.”
He continued, “At our best, the American ideal wins out. So we can’t leave this moment or look away thinking our work is done. … We have to look at it as we did for those 9 minutes and 29 seconds. We have to listen.”
Biden noted Floyd’s last remarks were “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.”
The president added:
“We can’t let those words die with him. We have to keep hearing those words. We must not turn away. We can’t turn away. We have a chance to begin to change the trajectory in this country. It’s my hope and prayer that we live up to the legacy.”
Watch his remarks below:
Pres. Biden after Chauvin verdict: ’Today’s verdict is a step forward … nothing can ever bring [the Floyd family’s] brother, their father back, but this can be a giant step forward in the march toward justice in America … this can be a moment of significant change’ pic.twitter.com/maHqmXk04d
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) April 20, 2021
The president concluded, “This can be a moment of significant change.”
Acknowledging “nothing can ever bring” Floyd back, Biden also said, “But this can be a giant step forward in the march toward justice in America.”
He called the verdict “much too rare.”
Touching on how the nation can deliver “real change and reform,” Biden explained, “We can and we must do more to reduce the likelihood that tragedies like this will ever happen and occur again — to ensure that Black and brown people or anyone, so they don’t fear the interactions with law enforcement, that they don’t have to wake up knowing that they can lose their very life in the course of just living their life.”
Arguing both the state and federal government need to take charge, Biden expressed confidence in the leadership at the Justice Department.
Biden said he spoke with Floyd’s family and “assured them that we’re going to continue to fight for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.”
Additionally, Biden discouraged violent protest, adding, “This is the time for this country to come together, to unite as Americans. There can never be any safe harbor for hate in America.”
Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree “depraved mind” murder, and second-degree manslaughter charges.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.