Senate

Tim Scott: ‘No question’ Floyd jury reached ‘the right verdict’

Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.), the only Black Republican senator, said Tuesday he believed the jury in former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial reached the “right” decision after finding him guilty on all charges.

“George Floyd died because Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck and stopped him from breathing for more than nine minutes. There is no question in my mind that the jury reached the right verdict,” Scott said in a statement.

Chauvin was found guilty on all three of the criminal counts that he was facing — second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder — in the death of Floyd.

Video released last year of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes sparked months of protests. Floyd died a short time later at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Scott, speaking to reporters as he headed to the U.S. Capitol for a pre-scheduled vote series, told reporters that he was “absolutely” relieved by the verdict.

“I’m thankful for the verdict,” he said. “This is a monumental day in many ways, in my opinion.”

Scott wasn’t the only GOP senator to back the jury’s verdict. 

Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) said that he “hoped for” a guilty verdict. 

“I think those were the verdicts I was expecting and hoped for, and I think they were deserved,” Braun said. 

The verdict immediately rekindled attention on Capitol Hill over potential police reform legislation.

Congress failed to get a bipartisan deal last year over big sticking points on legal protections for police officers. 

Scott has been talking behind the scenes in recent months with Democrats as they try to find a deal that could overcome the 60-vote filibuster in the Senate. He said on Tuesday that he thought talks were heading in the right direction. 

“I think we’re in a position now to move it forward, and I think I am cautiously optimistic that we’ll find a path forward,” he said.

Tags George Floyd death George Floyd trial Mike Braun Police reform legislation Qualified immunity Tim Scott

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