Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Chauvin Verdict: "It's Not Enough"

After hearing from Minneapolis prosecutors, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, George Floyd’s family, Democrat leaders in Congress, and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz regarding the guilty verdict announced today against Derek Chauvin, the nation heard Kamala Harris and Joe Biden’s reaction to the verdict and their “criminal justice reform” plans going forward.

Harris spoke first, thanking the jury, acknowledging Floyd’s family, and saying:

Today we feel a sigh of relief. Still, it cannot take away the pain. A measure of justice isn’t the same as equal justice. This verdict brings us a step closer, and, the fact is, we still have work to do.

She then brought up the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act she co-authored last year and which failed to pass the Senate, saying that it’s “part of George Floyd’s legacy” and that she and Biden would continue to push the Senate to pass it.

Before finally passing the mic to Biden, Harris performed the requisite blathering on about systemic racism.

Considering the time of day in Washington, D.C., Biden was quite chipper and with-it, but still managed to slur together quite a few words, saying:

It was a murder in the full light of day and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism the Vice President just referred to. The systemic racism is a stain on our nation’s soul, the knee on the neck of justice for black Americans, profound fear and trauma, the pain, the exhaustion that black and brown Americans experience every single day.

The murder of George Floyd launched a summer of protests we haven’t seen since the civil rights era in the ’60s, protests that unified people of every race and generation with peace and with purpose to say “enough, enough, enough of the senseless killings.”

Hold up. Did he observe the same “summer of protests” we all did? The protests I saw hardly unified people of every race with peace.

Today’s verdict is a step forward. I just spoke with the Governor of Minnesota, who thanked me…and I also spoke with George Floyd’s family again, a remarkable family of extraordinary courage. Nothing can ever bring their brother, their father, back, but this can be a giant step forward in the march toward justice in America. Let’s also be clear that such a verdict is also much too rare. For so many people it seems like it took a unique and extraordinary convergence of factors. A brave young woman with a smartphone camera, a crowd that was traumatized, traumatized witnesses, a murder that lasted almost 10 minutes, in broad daylight, for…the whole world to see. Officers standing up and testifying against a fellow officer instead of just closing ranks, which should be commended.

It’s kind of low-key, but in that passage, Biden is helping the Dems’ new messaging point that “it’s not just one bad apple,” regarding Chauvin. Because if Chauvin is simply a bad apple and other officers will work to ensure that officers who don’t follow use-of-force guidelines or who act in a racist manner (not saying Chauvin did that here, though that’s the accusation) are held accountable, and the justice system will convict a police officer who acts improperly, that takes a whole lot of thunder out of the BLM/Defund the Police movement.

Biden continued, commending:

“… [A] jury who heard the evidence and carried out their civic duty…under extraordinary pressure.”

Extraordinary pressure from folks like him and Maxine Waters.

No one should be above the law, and today’s verdict sends that message. But it’s not enough. We can’t stop here. In order to deliver real change and reform, we can and we must do more to reduce the likelihood that tragedies like this will ever happen and occur again….This takes acknowledging and confronting head-on systemic racism….

Biden then called on Congress to act, saying that Floyd was murdered a year ago yet essentially Congress hasn’t done anything — invoking another of today’s Dem talking points. It’s as if Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), a black man, doesn’t exist because he’s not a Democrat. As my colleague Jeff Charles covered, Sen. Scott called Democrats out less than a month ago for saying the filibuster is racist when they’d used said filibuster to kill his justice reform bill — which would have “positively impacted disproportionately African American communities.”