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Barack and Michelle Obama insist the jury did 'the right thing' in finding Derek Chauvin guilty

Barack and Michelle Obama have said the jury did 'the right thing' in finding Derek Chauvin guilty on all charges but said more needs to be done.

In a joint statement released after the verdict was announced, they said: 'For almost a year, George Floyd's death under the knee of a police officer has reverberated around the world — inspiring murals and marches, sparking conversations in living rooms and new legislation.'

'But a more basic question has always remained: would justice be done?'

'In this case, at least, we have our answer. But if we're being honest with ourselves, we know that true justice is about much more than a single verdict in a single trial.'

The pair called for 'concrete reforms' in policing and for the elimination of racial bias from the nation's criminal justice system.

Barack and Michelle Obama have said the jury did 'the right thing' in finding Derek Chauvin guilty on all charges but said more needs to be done

In a joint statement released after the verdict was announced, they said: 'For almost a year, George Floyd's death under the knee of a police officer has reverberated around the world — inspiring murals and marches, sparking conversations in living rooms and new legislation.'

'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,' he said.

Minutes after the verdict, President Biden phoned family members and lawyers for George Floyd just minutes after a Minnesota jury returned a verdict in the trial that captured the nation's attention and brought new focus on racial justice issues.

Biden phoned along with Vice President Kamala Harris and first lady Jill Biden. 

Lead attorney Benjamin Crump played the call on speaker phone. 

'Feeling better now,' Biden told tearful listeners who gathered around Crump's phone.  'Nothing is going to make it all better. But at least now there's some justice.

Biden previously revealed he also called the jury Monday, with the outcome uncertain – and as the White House noted repeatedly, the jury was sequestered.

He told the family afterward: 'You're an incredible family.  I wish I were there.'

He told them he was with White House advisor, former Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana.

'We've been watching every second of this and the vice president, all of us.  We were all so relieved, not just one verdict but all three,' Biden said. 

Crump tweeted out video of the exchange. 

'It's really important. I'm anxious to see you guys, I really am.  We're going to get a lot more done,' he promised them.

That prompted Crump to push Biden to act on and sign the George Floyd policing act, which is stalled in the Senate.  

'You got it pal.  That and a lot more,' Biden promised. He also spoke about confronting 'genuine systemic racism.' 

Earlier Tuesday, Biden said he is praying for the 'right verdict' in George Floyd trial and called the evidence 'overwhelming’ in series of extraordinary comments that come as the jury begins its second day of deliberations in the Derek Chauvin case.

People celebrate in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts 

Minneapolis residents hugged in the street at the news Chauvin faces decades behind bars 

THE OBAMA'S STATEMENT IN FULL 

Today, a jury in Minneapolis did the right thing.

For almost a year, George Floyd’s death under the knee of a police officer has reverberated around the world — inspiring murals and marches, sparking conversations in living rooms and new legislation. But a more basic question has always remained: would justice be done?

In this case, at least, we have our answer. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, we know that true justice is about much more than a single verdict in a single trial.

True justice requires that we come to terms with the fact that Black Americans are treated differently, every day. It requires us to recognize that millions of our friends, family, and fellow citizens live in fear that their next encounter with law enforcement could be their last. And it requires us to do the sometimes thankless, often difficult, but always necessary work of making the America we know more like the America we believe in.

While today’s verdict may have been a necessary step on the road to progress, it was far from a sufficient one. We cannot rest. We will need to follow through with the concrete reforms that will reduce and ultimately eliminate racial bias in our criminal justice system. We will need to redouble efforts to expand economic opportunity for those communities that have been too long marginalized.

And as we continue the fight, we can draw strength from the millions of people — especially young people — who have marched and protested and spoken up over the last year, shining a light on inequity and calling for change. Justice is closer today not simply because of this verdict, but because of their work.

Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, in the hopes that they may find peace. And we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied.

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