Police released a new mugshot of Derek Chauvin after he was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd and booked into the Oak Park Heights maximum security prison.
Chauvin, a former Minneapolis officer, was convicted last night of murder and manslaughter for kneeling on the neck of Mr Floyd, an unarmed black man, for more than nine minutes during an arrest.
Chauvin is being held at the maximum security prison whilst he awaits sentencing facing a maximum of 40 years for the charges in Minnesota.
The jury came to the decision after hearing a wide range of testimony from witnesses presented by both the defence and prosecution during the three-week trial.
Although he had the option to tell the jury his side of the story, Chauvin declined to testify, after invoking the 5th Amendment in court in Minneapolis.
The 46-year-old’s grieving family called the landmark verdict a “turning point in history” and received a call from Mr Biden, who promised to tackle racism across the US.
However, celebrations were muted by news that a black teenage girl had been shot dead by a police officer in Ohio, just two hours before Chauvin’s murder conviction was confirmed.
President Joe Biden said the conviction “can be a giant step forward” for the nation in the fight against systemic racism. But he declared that “it’s not enough.”
Biden spoke Tuesday from the White House hours after the verdict alongside Vice President Kamala Harris, with the pair saying the country’s work is far from finished with the verdict.
“We can’t stop here,” Biden declared.
Biden and Harris called on Congress to act swiftly to address policing reform, including by approving a bill named for Floyd, who died with his neck under Chauvin’s knee last May. Beyond that, the president said, the entire country must confront hatred to “change hearts and minds as well as laws and policies.”
“‘I can’t breathe.’ Those were George Floyd’s last words,” Biden said. “We can’t let those words die with him. We have to keep hearing those words. We must not turn away. We can’t turn away.”
Harris, the first Black woman to serve as vice president, said racism was keeping the country from fulfilling its founding promise of “liberty and justice for all.”
“It is not just a Black America problem or a people of colour problem. It is a problem for every American,” she said. “It is holding our nation back from reaching our full potential.”
“A measure of justice isn’t the same as equal justice,” she said.
Earlier Tuesday, Biden broke his administration’s silence on the trial, which has set the nation on edge for weeks, saying he was praying for “the right verdict.”
Speaking from the Oval Office while the jury was deliberating in Minneapolis, Biden said, “I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict. I think it’s overwhelming, in my view. I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered now.”