The Biden administration is keeping a close eye on the closing arguments and deliberations that occur in the Minneapolis trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. The President himself voiced his concerns over potential fallout from the trial during a private meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus. Vice President Kamala Harris has also been greatly discussing preparation tactics with certain aides.
The US is currently dealing with a major wave of mass shootings as well as the country begins to reopen with the rollout of multiple Covid-19 vaccines. Additionally, the killing of 20-year-old Duante Wright and 13-year-old Adam Toledo at the hands of the police also have racial tensions at an all time high, as both incidents occurred within two weeks of each other.
According to CNN, “the whipsaw of events, along with near-daily episodes of major shootings across the country, have only heightened pressure on both the President and Congress to hold police accountable for misconduct, a challenge now playing out against the backdrop of new calls for gun legislation.”
“The bully pulpit is more than just a bully pulpit. I think the President can help set a tone in the country, there is no question in my mind,” said Representative James Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat who is the highest-ranking African American member of Congress.
In terms of the Chauvin trial, representative Karen Bass of California expressed how she’s “very worried” for the potential unrest the nation will endure within the next week. “I don’t think anyone in Minneapolis, frankly, anyone in the United States or over a good part of the world would understand any other verdict other than guilty.”
Harris recently spoke in an interview as well on the trial: “Certainly, we want to make sure that the American people call for justice — we all want to know that those calls are met. And we need to all be aware that when those calls for justice are not met, people rightly express their First Amendment right to speak out, to assemble and to express their concern, their pain, their disappointment — as long as it’s peaceful protests.”
According to advisers, “Biden wants neither to replicate the heavily militarized response to protests under former President Donald Trump nor to appear absent in the face of violence or unrest directed at law enforcement, one official said. He also believes he must directly acknowledge the systemic racism that pervades criminal justice in America.”
Biden has put his support behind the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which is a bill that would establish a national registry of all police misconduct, ban racial/religious profiling by law enforcement, and overhaul the system that grants police officers qualified immunity from certain crimes.
America is patiently awaiting the results of the Derek Chauvin trial in what’s being viewed as one of the biggest trials in history when it comes to racial inequality in this country.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.