MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty on all counts in George Floyd’s murder. According to a pool report, George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, was praying in the courtroom before the verdict was read.
“I was just praying they would find him guilty,” he said after the conviction. “As an African American, we usually never get justice.”READ MORE: Security Ramping Up Ahead Of Derek Chauvin's Sentencing
The verdict was read in Hennepin County court just after 4 p.m. Thursday. In addition to the second-degree murder conviction, the jury found Chauvin guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
George Floyd family attorney Ben Crump shared a video of a phone call from President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who offered their support.
President Biden and VP Harris call the Floyd family after the GUILTY verdict! Thank you @POTUS & @VP for your support! We hope that we can count on you for the police reform we NEED in America! ✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/cg4V2D5tlI
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) April 20, 2021
Family members of George Floyd, along with Crump and Rev. Al Sharpton, held a press conference about an hour after the verdict was read. Sharpton first led a prayer with the family.
“Let’s lean into this moment and let’s make sure that this moment will be documented for our children as they continue on the journey to justice knowing that the blood of George Floyd will give them a trail to find a way to a better America,” Crump said.
George Floyd’s daughter, Gianna, is here with her mother pic.twitter.com/6GcS1yaMlZ
— Erin Hassanzadeh WCCO (@erinreportsTV) April 20, 2021
Floyd’s brother, Terrence Floyd, called the day “monumental.”READ MORE: Mitchell Hamline School Of Law Offers Class On Derek Chauvin Trial
“Every day of my life I will salute him because he showed me how to be strong. He showed me how to be respectful. He showed me how to speak my mind. I’mma miss him, but now I know he’s in history,” Terrence Floyd said. “What a day to be a Floyd.”
Rodney Floyd, George Floyd’s youngest brother, said the fight for justice is not over.
“We’re going to stand here together. We’re going to try to get the [George Floyd Justice In Policing Act] passed … we’re going to keep pressure on the Senate, everyone,” Rodney Floyd said.
Brandon Williams, Floyd’s cousin, echoed that call for police reform.
“These guys are able to wear a badge and go out in the field, which means that they’re qualified and trained to do they job at a high level. But when you shoot and kill a man that’s running away from you that doesn’t pose a threat, you’re not qualified and undertrained, or that’s a choice, that you want to kill black men and women. It’s either one or the other,” Williams said. And I think today, Keith Ellison and his team proved that just because you are law doesn’t mean you’re above the law.”
The verdict comes after 13 days of testimony at the heavily secured Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis. Crump says the trial, often featuring disturbing videos and pictures of the May 25, 2020 incident, was tough on the family.
“It has a psychological mental effect, not just on the family but on people who are watching television, following this trial intensely,” attorney Ben Crump said. “For many of us, George Floyd represents a cause, a case, a hashtag. But for his siblings and his children, George Floyd is their blood.”
President Joe Biden said he reached out to the family and shared prayers when the jury was handed the case Monday.
“I’ve come to know George’s family, not just on the passing. I spent time with them. I spent time with his little daughter Gianna, you should see this beautiful child, and his brother, both brothers as a matter of fact,” Biden said.
Early Tuesday before the verdict was read, Biden said he was praying for the “right verdict.”
“I think it’s overwhelming in my view. I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered now, you would not hear me say that,” Biden said.
Following the verdict, Judge Peter Cahill said Chauvin’s sentencing will happen in about eight weeks, but no official sentencing date has been set.MORE NEWS: AG Ellison Seeks Comments From Community Leading Into Derek Chauvin's Sentencing
The other three officers involved are charged with aiding and abetting, and are expected to be tried jointly in August.