Biden called Floyd family to offer prayers, brother says
President Biden placed a call to the family of George Floyd on Monday as the country awaits a verdict in the trial of the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering him last summer.
Philonise Floyd, the younger brother of the deceased Floyd, said during an interview on NBC’s “Today” Tuesday morning that Biden phoned the family to let them know that they are in his prayers.
“He was just calling. He knows how it is to lose a family member and he knows the process of what we are going through,” Floyd said. “So he was just letting us know he was praying for us and hoping that everything will come out to be OK. That is basically it.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki later confirmed the call, tweeting that Biden “spoke with the family of George Floyd yesterday to check in with them and also share that the family was in his prayers.”
Biden has previously spoken to and met with the Floyd family in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of now-former police officer Derek Chauvin in May.
Biden, who has been following the trial closely, is expected to address the case in some capacity after a verdict is reached, which could come as soon as this week. The jury began deliberations on Monday after the defense and prosecution made closing arguments in the case.
The nation is on edge awaiting the verdict, with federal and local leaders bracing for the potential for unrest following the trial’s conclusion. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the administration has been engaging with elected officials and authorities in Minnesota and said Biden is urging demonstrators to remain peaceful.
“Our objective is to ensure there is a space for peaceful protest, that we continue to convey that while this country has gone through an extensive period, especially the Black community, of pain, trauma and exhaustion as we have watched not just the trial but of course additional violence against their community over the past several weeks, it’s important to acknowledge that and elevate that at every opportunity we have,” Psaki told reporters at a briefing.
“We will continue to encourage peaceful protest but we’re not going to get ahead of the verdict in the trial,” she said.
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