George Floyd killing: President Biden shares his 'relief' with Floyd family after Derek Chauvin convicted of murder

·2-min read

US President Joe Biden has told the family of George Floyd he is "relieved" after former police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of his murder.

Chauvin, 45, had denied all three counts, but was found unanimously guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

He showed no visible emotion as the verdict was handed down and he was refused bail, before being led out of the courtroom in handcuffs to be sentenced in eight weeks' time.

Mr Biden called the Floyd family immediately after the verdict. Video footage of the call shared by their lawyer Ben Crump captured the president saying: "Nothing is going to make it all better, but at least now there is some justice. We're all so relieved".

Mr Biden said the family had been "incredible" throughout the trial, that he had been "praying the verdict was the right verdict", and will make further comments at the White House later on Tuesday.

Former president Barack Obama tweeted his reaction.

"Today, a jury did the right thing. But true justice requires much more," he wrote.

"Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied."

Speaking outside the courtroom, civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton encouraged family members and supporters to link arms in prayer.

He said through tears: "We broke down in tears when we heard the verdict. We had to hold each other in tears, but today we can wipe our tears away and fight for another day."

Rev Sharpton said the family "don't celebrate a man going to jail", as they would have preferred their loved one be alive.

Mr Floyd, 46, died on 25 May last year after being arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill.

Video footage that sparked protests around the world showed Chauvin with his knee on Mr Floyd's neck as he pleaded: "I can't breathe".

Despite onlookers' pleas for him to stop, he continued for nine-and-half minutes.