- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 20, 2021

President Biden said Tuesday he’s praying for the “right verdict” in the trial of Derek Chauvin, who stands accused of murdering George Floyd last year, calling the case “overwhelming.”

“I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict, which is — I think it’s overwhelming, in my view,” Mr. Biden said in the Oval Office at the top of a meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered.”

The president called Floyd‘s family on Monday after the jury was sequestered.

“I can only imagine the pressure and the anxiety they’re feeling,” the president said. “They’re a good family and they’re calling for peace and tranquility.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to elaborate on what Mr. Biden was referring to when he used the word “overwhelming.”

“I don’t think he would see it as weighing in on the verdict,” Ms. Psaki said. “We’re not going to get ahead of the outcome. I expect when there is a verdict, he will have more to say.”

A Minnesota jury is currently debating the fate of Mr. Chauvin, a White former Minneapolis police officer who has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges stemming from the death of Floyd, a Black man, while in police custody last year.

Floyd died after Mr. Chauvin knelt on his neck for approximately nine minutes. Officers had stopped Floyd on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill.

Eric Nelson, Mr. Chauvin‘s defense lawyer, said the former officer did not purposely use unlawful force in carrying out their duties in a highly stressful situation.

Prosecutor Steve Schleicher said the conduct amounted to “murder” and not policing.

Law enforcement agencies across the country are steeling for riots and unrest after the jury delivers a verdict, regardless of the outcome.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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