Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Called George Floyd's Family After Verdict: 'We've Been Watching Every Second'
Minutes after the guilty verdicts were rendered in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris called the Floyd family to offer words of support and hope for the future.
The family's attorney Ben Crump on Tuesday shared footage of them taking the call. In the video, Floyd's sister Bridgett is seen answering tearfully and placing the phone on speaker.
"Nothing is going to make it all better — but at least, God, now there is some justice," Biden says.
Referencing a previous comment made by Floyd's young daughter Gianna, Biden adds, "I think of Gianna's comment, 'My daddy's gonna change the world.' He's gonna start to change it now."
Calling them an "incredible family," Biden says he wished he could "put my arms around you."
"We've been talking, we've been watching every second of this — the vice president, all of us, Biden says. "We're all so relieved ... all three counts. It's really important. I'm anxious to see you guys. We're going to get a lot more done. We're going to do a lot. We're going to stay at it until we get it done."
Crump then respond to the president with: "Hopefully this is the momentum for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to get passed, to have you sign."
"You got it, pal," Biden says. "That and a lot more. Not just that, but a lot more."
The video shows Vice President Harris then get on the call to say that she is "so thankful to the entire family."
"Your courage, your commitment, your strength ... this is a day of justice in America and your family has been real leaders at this moment where we needed you," Harris says in the video, "and in George's name and memory we are going to make sure his legacy is intact and that history will look back at this moment and know that it was an inflection moment."
Harris continues: "We really do believe that with your leadership and the president that we have in the White House, that we're going to make something good come out of this tragedy."
Biden then interjects: "And you better all get ready because when we do it, we're going to put you on Air Force One and get you here ... I guarantee it."
After saying he was most concerned about Gianni, Biden then puts his wife, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, on the phone.
"We're thinking about you," she tells the Floyd family in the video.
"Nothing's worth it," the president later says to the family. "Like I said, I keep thinking of her words: 'Daddy's gonna change the world.' "
Biden and Harris "watched the verdict with staff in the Private Dining Room," the White House said Tuesday.
After the verdict, Biden spoke with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and he, Harris and Dr. Biden spoke with Floyd's brother Philonise from the Oval Office.
In remarks delivered Tuesday night, Harris urged members of Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The legislation has passed the House of Representatives but faces a tougher road through the Senate and has drawn criticism from some Republicans.
"Today we feel a sigh of relief, still, it cannot take away the pain. A measure of justice isn't the same as equal justice," Harris said on Tuesday. "This verdict brings us a step closer, and the fact is, we still have work to do. We still must reform the system."
Following Harris' speech, Biden delivered his own, saying the jury's decision was "a giant step towards justice in America" but was still "not enough."
"Black men, in particular, have been treated throughout the course of our history as less than human. Their lives must be valued in our nation. Full stop," Biden said.
Of the Floyd family, he said, "Nothing can ever bring their brother, their father back, but this can be a giant step forward in the march towards justice in America."
Floyd's brother Rodney, reacting to the verdicts in an appearance on MSNBC, said that while he can celebrate justice for his family, he's aware that other families are still waiting.
"I'm feeling tears of joy, so emotional that no [other] family in history got that far," Rodney said. "This right here's for everybody's that been in this situation. Everybody."