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President Biden calls Chauvin conviction a 'too rare' step for Black Americans

The president spoke with George Floyd's family.
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President Joe Biden joined the growing calls from Democrats for major changes in policing and the criminal justice system in the wake of Derek Chauvin's conviction in the killing of George Floyd.

He said that Chauvin's conviction on 2nd-degree and 3rd-degree murder charges, and 2nd-degree manslaughter, was "too rare" a step to provide "basic accountability" for Black Americans who have died at the hands of police.

The president echoed growing calls particularly from Democrats that Floyd's death needs to usher in systemic change that he believes has been all too long in coming.

As well as calling on city and state leaders to act, Biden said that action needs to be taken in Congress and at the federal level.

"George Floyd was murdered almost a year ago ... there's meaningful police reform taken up in his name," he said. "There is legislation to tackle systemic misconduct in police departments ... but it shouldn't take a whole year to get it done."

Biden had a conversation with George Floyd's family ahead of the verdict on Tuesday, and said he wants to continue fighting for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

The act would, according to The Hill, "prohibit racial profiling at every level of law enforcement, ban chokeholds, carotid holds and no-knock warrants, institute a national police misconduct registry and overhaul legal protections currently afforded to law enforcement known as qualified immunity."

The legislation passed the Democrat-held House, but has a tough time reaching the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate.

President Biden also referred to a past conversation he had with Floyd's daughter, Gianna, who told him "Daddy changed the world."

"I told her this afternoon, Daddy did change the world, let that be his legacy, of peace and justice," the president said.

He called for peaceful protest, and warned of "agitators and extremists" who are seeking to "exploit the raw emotions of the moment ... to fan the flames of hate and division."

"We have to listen: 'I can't breathe. I can't breathe,' Biden said. "Those were GF's last words, we can't let those words die with him. We must not turn away we can't turn away. We have a chance to begin to change trajectory in this country, it's my hope and prayer we can live up to the legacy. May God bless you, and may God bless George Floyd and his family."

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