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US PRESIDENT Joe Biden said yesterday that he is “praying the verdict is the right verdict” in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and that he believed the case, which has gone to the jury and put the nation on edge, to be “overwhelming.”
Mr Biden told reporters that he was only weighing in on the trial into the death of George Floyd, who died with Mr Chauvin’s knee on his neck, because the jury in the case had been sequestered.
He confirmed that he called Mr Floyd’s family on Monday to offer prayers and said he “can only imagine the pressure and anxiety they’re feeling.”
“They’re a good family, and they’re calling for peace and tranquillity no matter what that verdict is,” Mr Biden said.
“I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict. It’s overwhelming, in my view. I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered now.”
More than 3,000 National Guard soldiers, along with police officers, state police, sheriffs deputies and other law enforcement personnel have flooded the city in recent days.
The jury of six white people and six people who are black or of mixed race resumed deliberations this morning.
Mr Chauvin, 45, is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, all of which require the jury to conclude that his actions were a “substantial causal factor” in Mr Floyd’s death and that his use of force was unreasonable.
The most serious charge carries up to 40 years in prison.
Elsewhere in the United States, Latino lawyers and community leaders asked the Justice Department today to investigate the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy by a Chicago police officer.
Officer Eric Stillman was responding to a call of shots fired at about 3am on March 29 when he chased Adam Toledo into a dark alley.
Bodycam video released last week shows the teen appearing to drop a handgun and begin raising his hands less than a second before Mr Stillman fires his gun and kills him.
The video prompted demonstrations in Chicago, a city with a long history of police misconduct and distrust between police and the community, especially among black and Latino residents.
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