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President Joe Biden praying for ‘right’ verdict in Derek Chauvin trial

US President Joe Biden said he was praying for the “right” verdict in the closely-watched Derek Chauvin trial as the jury deliberated for a second day.

Biden said he believed that the evidence against the former Minneapolis police officer was “overwhelming”.

The 45-year-old has pleaded not guilty to killing George Floyd during an arrest last May.

Speaking at the White House, Biden said: “I’ve come to know George’s family. I can only imagine the pressure and anxiety they are feeling.”

“They’re a good family, and they’re calling for peace and tranquillity, no matter what that verdict is. I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict, which is – I think it’s overwhelming in my view. I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered now.”

The president has repeatedly denounced Floyd’s death but previously stopped short of commenting on the trial itself.

The United States is bracing itself for the verdict. The result is seen by some as part of a broader struggle for racial justice.

Cities across the country are preparing for protests once the outcome is announced.

Tensions are high in Minneapolis, which is also coming to terms with the death of a 20-year-old Black man, who was shot dead in a suburb of the Minnesota city on April 11 by a white policewoman.

As a deterrent to any potential rioting or looting, the state has deployed around 3,000 members of the Minnesota National Guard alongside police in what it dubbed Operation Safety Net.

Shops are being boarded up while civic leaders have appealed for calm, whatever the verdict.

For Chauvin to be convicted on any of the charges will require the jury to return a unanimous verdict.


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