According to the Newyork Times, President Biden called family of George Floyd on Monday to express his support and sympathy, telling reporters on Tuesday that the evidence against the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was “overwhelming” and that he was praying for the “right verdict.”
“I can only imagine the pressure and anxiety they are feeling, so I waited till the jury was sequestered,” Mr. Biden said of his conversation with the Floyd family during brief remarks in the Oval Office.
The evidence “is overwhelming in my view,” Mr. Biden said, adding that most of the conversation focused on “personal things.”
The president quickly defended his decision to weigh in on an unresolved trial, saying he thought it was appropriate to do so because all the evidence had been presented and the jury would not hear his remarks.
“I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered now,” he added, following a meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Later, Mr. Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, brushed aside suggestions that the president’s comments undermined an independent judiciary, but she did not clarify what he meant by calling for “the right” verdict.
“I don’t think he would see it as weighing in on the verdict,” she told reporters during her daily briefing. “He was conveying what many people are feeling across the country, which is compassion for the family.”
Ms. Psaki said Mr. Biden, who flew to Houston to console Mr. Floyd’s family before his funeral last June, had been speaking from his “heart” and would have further comment on the trial once the verdict had been rendered.
Mr. Floyd’s family discussed the president’s call during a television appearance earlier in the day.
“He was just calling,” Philonise Floyd, Mr. Floyd’s brother, told NBC’s “Today” show early Tuesday, a day after the Chauvin jury had retired to consider the verdict.
“He knows how it is to lose a family member, and he knows the process of what we’re going through,” he continued. “So he was just letting us know that he was praying for us, hoping that everything will come out to be OK.”
News Source – Newyork Times