US President Joe Biden in the Oval Office
Photo: Doug Mills / POOL / EPA
Shortly before the expected verdict in the trial of the death of the black man George Floyd, US President Joe Biden let it be known that he was hoping for a guilty verdict against the accused ex-police officer Derek Chauvin.
"I pray the verdict will be the correct one," Biden said in the White House.
In his opinion, the evidence was "overwhelming".
Although Biden was not directly saying that he was betting on a guilty verdict against Chauvin, the direction of his statements was clear.
The president had also spoken to Floyd's family on the phone the day before.
Interfering Biden irritates
The President's remarks on the ongoing judicial process caused astonishment.
Biden himself had not yet commented on the proceedings, which had been going on for three weeks.
Now he pointed out that the jury in the trial against Chauvin had started their deliberations on Monday and are therefore being sealed off from the public.
Otherwise he would not have commented on the case, he said.
Shortly thereafter, his spokeswoman emphasized that Biden naturally had no intention of influencing the verdict.
Chauvin kneeled on Floyd's neck during an operation on May 25 last year, which was killed.
The video of the operation went around the world and sparked massive protests against racist police violence.
At the trial in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a total of 45 witnesses were heard over a period of three weeks, doctors were heard and several hours of video material were viewed.
Guilty verdict vs. acquittal
The twelve jurors in the Floyd trial are currently debating whether Chauvin is guilty or innocent on the counts of second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter.
The public prosecutor's office had called for a guilty verdict on all three counts in its closing argument on Monday.
Chauvin's defense attorney had stated that the white ex-police officer would have to be acquitted.
Guilty convictions against police officers are rare in the United States.
The authorities fear protests and riots if Chauvin is not convicted.
Because of this, drastic security precautions have been taken in Minneapolis, including the National Guard.
mrc / AFP