tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC April 20, 2021 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
tonight, as we come on the air in the west, the nation responds. as we hear from the president after the verdict in the trial of former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin. chauvin found guilty on all charges for the killing of george floyd. taken away in hand cuffs. now facing decades behind bars. the images of chauvin with his knee on floyd's neck for 9 minutes, 29 seconds. in closing, the prosecution telling jurors to believe what they see. that jury deliberating for 10 1/2 hours. four hours last night, six and a half hours today. now the reaction from across the country tonight. outside the courthouse. and george floyd's family and their relief, with chauvin's conviction. and their hope that this begins a new chapter of work, of unity. president biden and vice president harris just a short time ago. also tonight, news on
vaccine available across this country. and authorities hoping to get the word out. hoping to reach communities underserved, saying there is vaccine ready and there's also news tonight on the johnson & johnson one-shot vaccine. european regulators now saying the benefits outweigh the risks. the deadly grocery store shooting today outside new york city. 200 customers in the store at the time. the urgent manhunt and the late development tonight. remembering a former vice president. what he did for the office and the history he made when he chose a runnin mate when he ran for president. and images from across the nation. the peaceful gathering tonight, and the question now, how do we move forward? this west coast edition begins now. good evening as we come on the air in the west tonight. president biden and vice president kamala harris have addressed the nation after the
guilty verdict in the trial of former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin. found guilty on all three charges in the death of george floyd nearly a year ago. the jury coming to a swift, unanimous decision after just 10 1/2 hours of deliberations. the president saying, this is a step forward tand revealing tonight that we talked with george floyd's family and to his young daughter, who he told, your daddy has changed the world, with a legacy of peace and justice that you should be proud of. it comes just hours after we all witnessed that camera trained on derek chauvin's face as the judge read the decision. guilty of second degree murder. guilty of thrd degree murder and guilty of second degree manslaughter. guilty on all three charges. the silence broken outside the courthouse. hundreds gathered. shouts of surprise but also relief in george floyd square, outside cup foods where george floyd died last memorial day. and these images of george floyd's family receiving a call from president biden after the
verdict, telling the family, quote, nothing is going to make it all better, but at least now, there is some justice. and this image tonight from black lives matter plaza in washington, d.c., across from the white house. a young black man falling to his knees in tears after the verdict. within moments, derek chauvin was placed in hand cups and led away, potentially facing up to four decades behind bars. at this hour tonight, the reaction now coming in from across this country. and the question, what comes next in this nation's reckoning on ration, justice and policing? abc's alex perez leads us off tonight from minneapolis. >> members of the jury, i will now lead the verdict. >> reporter: the jury deliberating just 10 1/2 hours, and with the nation watching, judge peter cahill reading their unanimous verdict. >> we, the jury in the above entitled matter, as to count one, unintentional second degree murder while committing a felony, find the defendant guilty. verdict count two. we, the jury in the above entitled matter, as to count two, third-degree murder perpetrating an eminently dangerous act, find the
defendant guilty. verdict count three. we, the jury in the above entitled matter as to count three, second-degree manslaughter, culpable negligence, creating an unreasonable risk, find the defendant guilty. >> reporter: the jury of seven women and five men, which included six people of color, stayed late last night and came in early this morning. they worked swiftly and didn't send out a single question during their deliberations. >> are these your verdicts, so say you one, so say you all? >> yes. >> reporter: in houston, george floyd's family members, watching as the verdict was read. >> find the defendant guilty. >> yes! >> find the defendant guilty. >> yes! >> reporter: moments later, a call from president biden. >> you've been incredible. you're an incredible family. i wish i was there just to put my arms around you. >> reporter: bidened and vice president kamala harris addressing the nation tonight. >> today, we feel a sigh of relief. still, it cannot take away the
pain. a measure of justice isn't the same as equal justice. >> we can and we must do more to reduce the likelihood that tragedies like this will ever happen again. and this takes acknowledging and confronting head on systemic racism and the racial disparities that exist in policing and in our criminal justice system more broadly. >> reporter: the prosecution built their case around that video seen around the world. the 9 minutes and 29 seconds that sparked a racial reckoning movement, telling jurors, believe your own eyes. >> it's exactly what you knew. it's what you felt in your gut. it's what you now know in your heart. this wasn't policing. this was murder. >> reporter: the teenager who shot that video, darnella frazier, taking the stand, testifying offcamera.
like so many eyewitnesses, she's still haunted by what she saw. >> when i look at george floyd, i look at -- i look at my dad. i look at my brothers, i look at my cousins, my uncles, because they're all black. i look at how that could have been one of them. it's been nights, i stayed up apologizing and -- and apologizing to george floyd for not doing more. >> reporter: a dozen law enforcement witnesses, including the minneapolis chief of police, testified against derek chauvin. >> to continue to apply that level of force to a person, proned out, handcuffed behind their back. that -- that in no way, shape or
form is anything that is by policy. it is not part of our training, and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values. >> reporter: the prosecution's medical experts were blunt. >> a healthy person subjected to what mr. floyd was subjected to would have died as a result of what he was subjected to. >> reporter: chauvin opting not to take the stand in his own defense. >> i will invoke my fifth amendment privilege today. >> reporter: his attorney calling just seven witnesses to the prosecution's 38. they sought to convince jurors that george floyd's heart disease and drug use led to his death, not chauvin's knee on his neck. >> derek chauvin did exactly what he had been trained to do over the course of his 19-year career. the use of force is not attractive, but it is a necessary component of policing. >> reporter: but the jury was not convinced, and tonight, we have their judgment. what derek chauvin did to george floyd wasn't policing, it was murder. the former officer put in
handcuffs himself, as he was led out of court. >> and so where do we go from here as far as derek chauvin and his fate? let's bring in alex perez, who has been covering this case from the start and the trial there in minneapolis. alex, i understand derek chauvin will be sentenced in about eight weeks now and faces up to 40 years behind bars, based on that most serious of the charges? >> reporter: yeah, that's right, david. he faces up to 40 years behind bars. now, the judge will have a lot of discretion when it comes to sentencing. he will be able to consider many different factors when he imposes that sentence. and david, tonight, we did hear from darnella frazier, that's the young woman who recorded that video seen around the world. in a tweet tonight, saying, "george floyd, we did it. justice has been served." david? >> darnella frazier reacting to the news today and remember her on the witness stand, saying she's cried many a night wondering if she could have done more for george floyd. alex perez leading us off tonight. alex, thank you.
and of course, there's already strong reaction and moving reactions coming in from across this country. george floyd's death sparked demonstrations and protests and conversations, including people from various races and backgrounds across this country. parents bringing their children out to these protests. and tonight, abc's linsey davis is in minneapolis with what we're seeing so far. >> reporter: tonight, the crowd outside cup foods in minneapolis erupting in cheers as they learned of derek chauvin's conviction in george floyd's death. at the u.s. capitol, members of the congressional black caucus clasping hands as they listened to the verdict. the disturbing video of chauvin with his knee on floyd's neck, as floyd told officers he could not breathe, stunned the world. the memorial day incident then inciting outrage. with people from various races and backgrounds taking to the streets. in the nation's capital and across the country last summer, scenes of protesters face down
in silence remembering the 46-year-old father. the black lives matter movement seeing a resurgence. >> black lives matter! >> black lives matter! >> reporter: and from los angeles to phoenix, orlando to new york city, demonstrators demanding justice for floyd, but also for other african-americans who have died in police custody. at the brooklyn memorial service, his brother terrence telling our david muir his family appreciated the diversity seen among demonstrators. >> when you looked out into that crowd and you saw that sea of faces, black, white, asian-american, latino, what did you make of it? >> i just know my brother was proud. because i know the whole floyd family is proud of that. because we're all standing together. we're all standing together for the cause of justice. >> reporter: in september of last year, that intersection near where floyd was arrested renamed george floyd square. >> and so let's bring in linsey davis tonight, our sunday night anchor, who is on the ground in minneapolis, and linsey, george floyd's death, we know, sparked a conversation across this
country and a long overdue one. and you were saying as we were on the air with our breaking coverage earlier, that the word that best described perhaps what you witnessed there in minneapolis is that people exhaled. and i gather that happened in cities across this country and in small towns where we saw these protests and conversations started between police and people who live in those communities and tonight, ken moton reporting that george floyd's family hopes that this verdict is just the beginning of this next chapter. >> reporter: that's right. you can still hear some celebratory cheers out in the streets now, but people are also ready to get to work, as far as real change. many members of the black caucus and democrats are asking for legislation, specifically named george floyd justice in policing act. this is legislation that would combat misconduct in policing, particularly racial bias in policing. david? >> linsey davis with our coverage in minneapolis tonight. linsey, thank you so much.
been with me for all of our coverage throughout this trial. i want to bring in our chief legal analyst dan abrams tonight. and dan, before we get to the question, i just wanted to point out that this jury, the makeup of the jury, which is a headline in and of itself, we knew this going in, but perhaps now it will be even more significant, part of this, as we learn more from the jurors in the days and weeks ahead, the jury was made up of six white jurors, six people of color, four black jurors and two people who identify as mixed race. so, a very diverse jury deciding this. and we know that in the closing arguments in the last 24 hours, prosecutors going back to what they said on the very first day in that opening statement, that you can believe what you see and it would appear the jurors did. >> absolutely. that message resonated. believe what you see, believe your eyes. use your common sense. those were the basic arguments made by the prosecutors, which is, the video tells the story. and i think when you point out about the diversity of the jurors, it wasn't just their
racial diversity. there was a great diversity in terms of what they did for a living and how they viewed the world and how they viewed the protests, et cetera. and i think that this can instill a sense of confidence that this really was a jury of americans coming together to reach this unanimous verdict of all of the charges in a relatively short period of time. >> dan abrams with us tonight on this trial. dan, thank you. i want to go to former prosecutor sunny hostin, also an abc news legal analyst. and sunny, you were telling me right before we went on the air with news of the verdict, that as a veteran prosecutor yourself, even you were surprised that this deliberation was relatively short, no questions from these jurors, no confusion over the charges. they were clear-eyed about this decision they made. >> this was highly unusual, i mean, it's always clear to prosecutors that a quick
verdict, a fast verdict, really hints at about an agreement. but in a case like this, with over 40 witnesses, with medical testimony, although there was this video that the world had seen, the defense, although didn't have a lot to work with, did a decent job with reasonable doubt and so i was very surprised that there were no questions for read-back of testimony, no questions for legal instruction clarification. that is very, very odd, especially when it comes to convicting a police officer, because we know in this country -- i think that many jurors are loathe to convict police officers. historically, think about it, since 2015, there have been about 15,000 police killings and i would say that stats aren't very clear but chauvin is probably only the seventh police officer that has been convicted >> and we know the prosecution was aware of that, which is why the prosecution showed just the vast number of police witnesses
on that one visual that they put before the jury, several police witnesses, including the police chief, who came forward and testified against officer chauvin, that was extraordinarily rare to witness during a trial. one other question for you. the defense worked throughout this trial and in their closing in talking about the bystanders, talking about them as a potential threat, but at the very least, a distraction. and then the prosecution, in their final word, their rebuttal, they got up there and said, the bystanders, they said, you met most of the bystanders that were there that day and they closed with the thought of that 9-year-old girl who witnessed the whole thing and she was on the witness stand and she said she remembered when the paramedics arrived, more than nine minutes into that video and the paramedics had to say, "get off of him." >> that was one of the most effective rebuttals that i have ever seen, david. putting the eyes of a 9-year-old up there for the world and for the jury to see. it was really, really
remarkable. and this is what justice looks like. justice is accountability. >> sunny hostin and dan abrams our legal analysts with us here tonight. our thanks to you both and to our entire team covering this verdict all afternoon here on abc. there is other news we're following tonight, and the concern growing when it comes to coronavirus here in the u.s. the demand for vaccines slowing down. thousands of appointments apparently going ignored across the country. and they want to get the word out that there is available vaccine. this all comes after the cdc imposed that temporary pause on the johnson & johnson vaccine. tonight, european regulators now supporting the one-shot vaccine, as long as there is a warning that goes with it, saying that the benefits do outweigh the risks. the cdc saying it could lift the pause here later this week. we know there's going to be another meeting. what they're reluctant about, what we're learning tonight. here's abc's marcus moore. >> reporter: growing reports that demand for vaccines is
slowing down, as thousands of appointments go unfilled across the country. how critical is it that people get vaccinated? >> it is absol are in a race against the virus and against time to reach herd immunity before the virus mutates into something that can defeat our vaccines. >> reporter: this site in dallas can do 12,000 vaccinations a day. but on some days, they're doing as few as 4,000. 44% of the counties in this country are battling high community spread of coronavirus, but many rural areas are seeing lower turnout for vaccine. >> just like many other places across the united states, largely rural populations are just not coming out to get vaccinated. >> reporter: and vaccine hesitancy is higher in underserved communities hit hardest by the virus. >> i'm just waiting more or less to see what is going on and then i can decide whether or not i want to take it. >> reporter: a recent poll revealing a political divide, too. 45% of republicans said they do not plan to get a covid-19
vaccine right now, compared to 27% of americans overall. doctor and republican congressman andy harris giving shots in his home district in maryland. >> you should be getting the vaccine, because the benefits outweigh the risks, and we need to make sure we are protecting our most vulnerable people in the united states. >> reporter: david, back to that news on the johnson & johnson vaccine. while european officials are recommending a warning, back here in the u.s., the cdc advisory panel is expected to meet again on friday. david? >> all right, marcus moore tonight with us, as well. thank you. when we come back here, there is news this evening about another deadly shooting. this time, at a grocery store right outside new york city. the unfolding scene today. and later tonight, we remember a former vice president. apnea and you're ofd during the day, you could be missing out on amazing things. sunosi can help you stay awake for them. once daily sunosi improves wakefulness in adults with excessive daytime sleepiness due to obstructive sleep apnea. sunosi worked for up to nine hours at 12 weeks in a clinical study. sunosi does not treat the cause of osa or take the place of your cpap.
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and an end note tonight, as a nation responds to the guilty verdict in the trial of derek chauvin. the images outside the courthouse in minneapolis, cheers of justice. in washington, d.c., allison haywood hugging her mother as they heard. and london williams from harrisburg, pennsylvania, reacting. george floyd's family tonight saying they hope a new chapter begins of conversation and unity in this country. good night.
a historic day in america. former police officer derek chauvin was found guilty on all three counts for the murder of george floyd. >> this is something i never thought would ever happen in my lifetime. look at where we are. someone who is a police officer being held accountable for murder. >> this brings us a step closer. the fact is we still have work to do. >> with that we say good evening and thank you for joining us. >> a profound today. derek chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third- degree murder, and second degree manslaughter. he was immediately handcuffed and led by a sheriff deputy. she reached the verdict in less than 24 hours after
arguments. they had 10 hours of deliberation. some of george floyd's family members including his brother were in the courtroom. >> today, we are able to breathe again. >> hopefully our country will take a turn in the right direction today. this day in history proves it was a turning point. >> the judge said a sentencing will take place in about 8 weeks. he waived his right to have a t jury decide his sentencing so a judge will give his >> when the verdict came down to say the least. nothing can bring back george floyd, obviously. they are hoping the jury's verdict will lead to profound and real change across the country. j.r. stone is here with nationwide reaction to
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