WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden called the family of George Floyd on Monday to let them know he was praying for them as the nation awaits a verdict in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is accused of causing Floyd’s death.
Floyd’s young brother, Philonise Floyd, said he talked to the president.
“He was just calling,” the younger Floyd said on NBC’s Today show. “He knows what it’s like to lose a family member, and he knows the process of what we’re going through. So he was just letting us know that he was praying for us and hoping that everything will come out to be OK.”
At the White House, Biden said he waited until the jury in Chauvin’s trial was sequestered before he made the call.
“I’ve come to know George’s family,” the president told reporters, adding that the Floyd family is going through “pressure and anxiety.”
“They’re a good family,” he said. “And they’re calling for peace and tranquility.”
Biden said he’s praying the verdict the jury returns is “the right verdict.”
“The evidence is overwhelming in my view,” he said.
A jury in Minneapolis began deliberating the charges against Chauvin on Monday after the prosecution and defense gave their closing arguments in his trial.
Chauvin, a former Minneapolis officer, is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death while in police custody on May 25, 2020. Chauvin was seen on video pressing his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe.
Chauvin faces 12 and a half years or 150 months in prison under sentencing guidelines for a first-time offender if convicted of the most serious charge.
The White House said Monday it is in communication with state and local authorities about preparations for potential protests following the verdict.
Michael Collins covers the White House. Follow him on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS.
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