The verdict against Derek Chauvin "can be a moment of significant change," President Biden said in a White House speech Tuesday, hours after a jury found the former Minneapolis police officer guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. The Black man's death "was a murder in the full light of day and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see" systemic racism and "the knee on the neck of justice for Black Americans," Biden said, per CNN. Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and first lady Jill Biden called Floyd's family moments after the verdict, reports the AP. "Nothing is going to make it all better, but at least now there is some justice," he said in video of the call tweeted by attorney Ben Crump. "We're all so relieved."
Biden and Harris both urged Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, Politico reports. Biden described the decision in the Chauvin case as "much too rare" and said "it took a unique and extraordinary convergence of factors"—including bystander video of the killing and police willing to testify against a former officer—"for the judicial system to deliver a just, just basic accountability." Chauvin will be sentenced at a hearing in around eight weeks. He faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison on the most serious charge and federal charges are still possible, the Washington Post reports. In a statement Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland said the jury had "fulfilled its civic duty" after the trial on state charges. He said the federal civil rights investigation is "ongoing." (Read more George Floyd stories.)