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Don Lemon Tonight

Floyd Family Received Justice For George; People Are Celebrating The Jury's Verdict; President Biden Congratulates The Floyd Family; Witnesses Played A Great Role In Derek Chauvin's Trial; Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) Is Interviewed About The Atmosphere In Her State Tonight; Today's Justice Is One Leap Of Victory For People Of Color. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired April 20, 2021 - 22:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: I'll be back at Midnight Eastern with special live expanded coverage. And guess who will be by my side? D. Lemon.

But right now, he's here solo, with the big show.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: What a night, what a day, watching all of this unfold! I mean, here it is. I mean, we were - we were talking about what, just 24 hours ago, that it only takes one juror? But that's not where we are right now.

Everybody agreed. 10 hours of deliberation, 4.5 hours one day - 4 hours one day, 6.5 hours, the next day. And here we are, finally, in the, justice, in the eyes of many, in this country.

CUOMO: The case almost does not have a companion. My big brain senior was looking it up for me today.

First of all, you know what the embarrassing thing is? I can't give you a great answer, about where this case fits, in terms of the statistics and percentages, because we don't keep them.


It's not a national metric for us. Use of force. We depend on states. The FBI works with but there are no standards.

But in a non-shooting case, Don, to have not just a homicide charge against a police officer but a murder charge is almost unheard of.

LEMON: Yes. And -- but here we are. It was -- today, to see and to hear that verdict, guilty, guilty, guilty on all counts and then watch Derek Chauvin be remanded and taken away in handcuffs was certainly a moment, both visually and -- I can't even explain it. I don't even know what to say today.

As I sat there and watched, Chris -- I must be honest. As I sat there and watched the press conference with Benjamin Crump and the family, I told Wolf Blitzer I stopped taking notes at some point because it was so overwhelming just watching a family go just be so honest and so eloquent with their feelings and so inspirational with their feelings, because no one tells you how to act or react on this major stage that you're thrust upon when something like this happens.

And I think they've handled it with dignity and with grace and just as good as any family could handle something in this moment.

CUOMO: How do you think the rest of us will handle it?

LEMON: I think we're doing a pretty good job in the moment. I think -- I think the fact that I'm not saying, Chris, I got to go, we got to get to Minneapolis where there's unrest happening, and we're not saying that. So, I think in this moment I think we're handling it pretty well.

And I think it remains to be determined -- we shall see what the next one of these -- and there will be one, as you know, sadly. We'll see how that is handled. But I'll see you at midnight tonight.

CUOMO: I will see you. It's an important night. It is a pleasure for me to share it with you.

LEMON: Yes. You as well. OK, I'll see you soon. Then we can talk more.

So, everyone. This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

So, here we are in this moment. I'm Don Lemon, by the way. Here we are in this moment where typically there's so much unrest, so many people are so upset, so many people are so confused, and we're in a different place right now.

And I think Chris brings up a very good question. Where do we go from here? How do the rest of us handle it? Well, that's up to us as to where we go in this country, where this moment takes us. That's a pretty important thing for us to do, figure out what we do next and how, in the words of the attorney general or in the words of one of the prosecutors there, how this brings us toward being a better -- seeing each other's humanity and being a better country.

This is our breaking news coverage and it's just one word -- one word to describe all of it. And that's justice. Justice. Justice. That's what this is about. This is about justice. This is why people are out in the streets tonight.

Cup foods -- you see it there. That's where this all started May 25th, 2020. They are marking the moment there when there was finally justice for George Floyd. George Floyd murdered in broad daylight by a police officer who kneeled on his neck for 9 minutes 29 seconds, ignoring his cries, cries for his mother, ignoring his cries that he couldn't breathe, ignoring people standing on a sidewalk begging him to stop, literally squeezing the life right out of him.

We all watched it. We all watched it. We were all at home in quarantine. I know you remember. I know you know because I was there with you. We were all at home in quarantine watching this all play out, couldn't leave our homes, glued to our televisions, watching in horror as this man died in front of our very eyes at the hands of a police officer. Tonight, though, justice for George Floyd's family. And as big and

major -- as news making as that all is, it's bigger than that, justice for the pain of yet another Black man or woman suffering and dying at the hands of police.

This is a critical moment. We're at an inflection point. Justice for everyone who marched for Black Lives Matter and demanded it. All of that, it was -- it was uncomfortable for a lot of people. There was a lot of support for Black Lives Matter until there wasn't.


We all watched it right down to the people who were gassed in the streets in Lafayette Square. You remember it. You watched it with me. We all went through it together. For too long we have seen it. We have seen it over and over and over again. It's why so many people I talked to today were worried. They were afraid. Would justice be denied again?

We have a different president now than when we saw that gassing in Washington, D.C. of peaceful protesters. President Joe Biden is in charge now speaking to the nation tonight, saying the work of delivering justice to all Americans is just beginning.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It's the work we do every day to change hearts and minds as well as laws and policies. That's the work we have to do. Only then will full justice and full equality be delivered to all Americans.

And that's what I just discussed with the Floyd family. The guilty verdict does not bring back George. But through the family's pain, they're finding purpose so George's legacy will not be just about his death but about what we must do in his memory.


LEMON (on camera): The Vice President Kamala Harris with the stark truth, racism and injustice, well, can't just be a problem for Black people. It's a problem for every American.


KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Here's the truth about racial injustice. It is not just a Black America problem or a people of color problem. It is a problem for every American. It is keeping us from fulfilling the promise of liberty and justice for all.


LEMON (on camera): From the first Black woman vice president to the first Black president, Barack Obama saying today, a jury did the right thing but true justice requires much more. Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied.

Justice has finally been served. But it is painfully earned justice for the Floyd family. Their brother, their father, a man that they loved is dead, and their lives will never be the same.


PHILONISE FLOYD, GEORGE FLOYD'S BROTHER: I'm not just fighting for George anymore. I'm fighting for everybody around this world.


FLOYD: I get calls, I get DMs, people from Brazil, from Ghana, from Germany, everybody, London, Italy. They're all saying the same thing. We won't be able to breathe until you're able to breathe.

UNKNOWN: That's right.

FLOYD: Today we are able to breathe again.


LEMON (on camera): This is a history that people write about. This is the history that's in your textbooks, in your children's textbooks and your grand grandkids' textbooks. Years from now you're going to remember where you were when you heard the verdict. A wholesome repudiation of Derek Chauvin's actions the day he murdered George Floyd. Guilty, guilty, guilty on all three counts.


PETER CAHILL, JUDGE, HENNEPIN COUNTY FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT: We, the jury in the above entitled manner as to count one, unintentional second-degree murder while committing a felony find the defendant guilty.

We, the jury in the above entitled manner as to count two, third- degree murder or perpetrating an eminently dangerous act find the defendant guilty. We the jury in the above entitled manner as to count three, second-degree manslaughter, culpable negligence creating an unreasonable risk find the defendant guilty.


LEMON (on camera): Imagine. Imagine hearing that about your own fate. Imagine. Raw emotion from the crowd as they heard the verdict. Cheers, tears as they saw the news on their phones. It started with people with phones in their hands and it ended with people with phones in their hands.

Remember those people on the sidewalk calling out, trying to save George Floyd? They were witnesses. They were all witnesses. Because of that brave teenager who raised up her phone and recorded what was happening, who bore witness, that teenager, Darnella Frazier, who testified there are nights that she stayed up apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more, reacting on Facebook thanking God that justice has been served.


She probably did more -- not probably. She did do more than anybody in this case if not for that video, if not for that video, if not for that video, if not for her and being there and recording.

Like I said, it is painfully-earned justice, justice a lot of people feared that we wouldn't see. But this is the beginning. There's a lot of work to be done to get to liberty and justice for all.

My colleague Sara Sidner has been on this journey with all of us not only bearing witness to it but really living it and reporting on it every single -- almost every single day since last summer. Sara Sidner joins me now. Sara, good evening to you, the George Floyd square there. Tell us what it's like tonight and what people are saying.

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's much more like a block party, if you will, than anything that we've seen since May 25th, 2020. But there is always that heavy reminder that a life was lost here. This is Cup Foods. You know it well, Don. And just below it is where George Floyd took his last breath. And now a jury says he was murdered. But the folks around here have always said that.

They have always said there is no other explanation. That videotape that was taken by Darnella, that video that was on the chest of the officers, to them it has been murder from day one. Now a jury has agreed with what a lot of the people here -- or all of the people that are here at George Floyd square -- have been saying.

Every day, by the way, since the trial started. You see that bright sign that used to be giving the price of gasoline. That has been changed every day. Every day it's been changed how many days the trial has gone on. And now you can read it. It says, justice for George Floyd. Justice served? With a question mark.

Because a lot of people feel like, yes, there was justice in the sense of our justice system in America, but you can't bring George Floyd back. Apologies and guilty verdicts are fine, but it doesn't bring the person back, and it doesn't stop the pain and it doesn't stop the sorrow.

And we just spoke to Jesse Jackson just a few minutes ago. People cheered when he showed up. And he said, I think the celebrations, frankly, are premature because there's too much work to do. And then he mentioned 10 miles away you had another child, 20 years old, somebody's baby end up getting shot and killed by another officer just before this verdict, just days before this verdict.

And so, there are a lot of folks that believe there's a lot to do. But they are giving themselves a moment to be happy. They're giving themselves a moment to say, OK, we can -- we can breathe. We can see this as a good thing. We can say that justice has been served. They're giving themselves a moment to feel better, not good, but to feel better, Don. LEMON: I think every -- any time you can celebrate just a little bit,

I think it is warranted, Sara. You mentioned when you -- when I first talked to you, when I first said hello to you moments ago, you said this is more like a block party. And you have covered this story for nearly a year now since this murder happened. Tell me how different the feeling is tonight compared to what you have seen and what you -- what you, you know, reported on before this.

SIDNER: Yes. You know, I've been in this square dozens of times. And every time you come in, there is always that little feeling of tension because you knew what happened here and you knew that everyone here knew what happened here and they were here because they knew what happened here. And there was a deep sense of sorrow.

Today, people have been dancing. I'll let you, you know, Albert is taking these wonderful pictures. You know, people have been dancing. People have been talking to one another. There are white folks here, there are Black folks here, Latino folks, Asian folks. There are lot of people here.

And I'm going to, Albert, have you turn to your right here. Yes, that is another thing that has happened here over time. That is a community garden. This is not sanctioned by the city. This was built by the protesters, every brick, all of the dirt. They decided they wanted to create something to make this a roundabout because this was an intersection.


And if you look at it, there are Black Lives Matter signs, there are signs for Daunte Wright, there are signs for George Floyd. There are signs of, you know, the most well-known civil rights leader of our time, Martin Luther King, Jr. And you will also see Amanda Gorman here.

There are signs of Black people who have lost their lives and those who have fought for justice all the way around this square. And at the very middle of it, there is a fist. And that fist is for Black power but it's also for justice as well.

And so that is what you are seeing here. Right now, the scene is for the first time not tense. And that is the difference between what happened between May 25th, 2020 and now. Don?

LEMON: Sara Sidner, stand by. We'll get back to Sara. We'll check in on Minneapolis in just a bit.

I want to bring in now George Floyd's brother, Philonise, and Ben Crump, the attorney for the Floyd family. Gentlemen, good evening. Thank you so much. So good to see you.

Ben, I see a smile on your face, Philonise as well. Go ahead. Why? I know that's an obvious question, but go on.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR FLOYD FAMILY: Don, as Philonise said after they got the verdict, they all said, George Floyd would have said, we just won the championship. Tell them in Houston we are coming home with a W.

PHILONISE FLOYD, GEORGE FLOYD'S BROTHER: Yes, yes. Man, it was -- it was just so much of a relief, Don, just constant nights of me just being up constantly getting three and four hours of sleep. But today, I won't get that time to sleep because I'm going to stay up and I'm going to celebrate because to me this is the day of celebration. I'm happy, man. I'm really happy.

LEMON: Listen, I just -- and I want to take you back for the courtroom -- to the courtroom if you will allow me. Because this verdict, as you know, was historic. What was it like for you to be there?

FLOYD: It was one of these times that I actually panicked a lot. I was walking back and forth, pacing back and forth, man. Attorney Crump was like, hey, just do whatever you need to do to be comfortable. And I did it. And when I had to go to that courtroom, I sat in there 30 minutes before the jurors came out and the judge came out. But the entire time I prayed for that entire 30 minutes.

LEMON: What was that 30 minutes like?

FLOYD: Man, it was like an eternity. But all I could know that like is in my mind, I've seen George, I've seen my Lord and savior. He was just talking to me, and all I heard was guilty, guilty, and guilty. I was extremely excited. Words cannot describe because African- Americans, we don't get justice. We just think it's just us.

LEMON: Ben, I want to know how important this verdict was today, guilty on all charges, because you, as you were speaking after the verdict, you started -- you said we hold these truths to be self- evident, right, that all men are created equal. How important are these guilty charges -- this guilty verdict?

CRUMP: It is so important, Don, because I believe it gives us an opportunity to have a new precedent that when we say with liberty and justice for all, we build and (Inaudible) in that. Think about the Trayvon Martins, the Michael Browns, the Terence Crutchers.

I mean, all these cases, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake, all of them, Don, that we've talked about painstakingly, heart wrenchingly that they never ever even got charges brought.

And so, this is a precedence now for Daunte Wright as we go forward, but all these hash tags to say we got a chance. We know justice is possible.

LEMON: Yes. Listen, I got to tell you, listen, Ben, as I was sitting here earlier and I was on with Wolf. It was towards the end. I didn't have enough time really to talk to Wolf as much as I wanted to about what was happening. And I had people saying that -- jokingly saying -- Ben Crump has turned this press conference into the cookout because -- because of the way you were reacting.

And all I could think about, quite honestly, is when some tragedy has happened in a community, even my community or someone has died or something has happened and then the community comes together, God is there, we pray and we hold each other up in support, and then we try to cheer each other up in spirit with humor and with laughter.


Do you understand -- do you understand what I'm saying? That's all I could feel in that moment is that it was a big community presence. And quite frankly, it's a way that Black folks interact with each other, and I thought the whole world was seeing something that -- that is very much to do with how we interact with each other, part of the culture, as they say, Ben. Am I right about that, Ben? Or Philonise, whoever wants to answer.

CRUMP: So, Don, I go first. You understand the culture, brother. You're from Louisiana. And we know when Black people -- I think even if you were not there, but if you were a Black person you were there in spirit with us.

FLOYD: Right.

CRUMP: The park was happy and full and you understood that I'm going to be born -- I was born Black. I'm going to die Black. But police, you all can't kill us because we're Black. You got that. You felt that. And that's what that moment was about. And so, it was a celebration, Don. It was filled with love and happiness.

FLOYD: Happiness. Yes. Love and happiness just like my brother when he used to pick my mom and dance with her and let the Al Green song play. I was thinking about all that. It was such a beautiful day, historic.

So many African-Americans -- just period, people of color, people all around this nation, they all celebrated because one thing they can always say is justice for George, it means freedom for all. Because it has been times that you'll be worried like what would I have to do when I get pulled over. You think about so many things. The world has sparked and lit up with a blaze tonight. And it's a celebration. It could be tomorrow but not it's a celebration today.

CRUMP: And Don, let me say, the president when he called, it was really profound because as he was talking to George, he says, you know, he lost people, so he understood. He lost loved ones. But one thing I thought he said was when he said even you all may not believe this, but many police officers are rooting for you all to get justice too because they think what Derek Chauvin did was not representative of them.

LEMON: You know, I want to play this because you mentioned the president. He spoke with George Floyd's daughter, Gianna, and he talked about that. Watch this.


BIDEN: I also spoke to Gianna, George's young daughter, again. When I met her last year, I've said this before at George's funeral. I told her how brave I thought she was, and I sort of knelt down to hold her hand. And I said, daddy is looking down on you. He's so proud.

She said to me then, I'll never forget it, daddy change the world. I told her this afternoon, daddy did change the world. Let that be his legacy.


LEMON (on camera): Philonise, how does that feel to hear from the president? I know you spoke with him earlier, but to hear him stand at the podium at the White House and say that, how does that feel?

FLOYD: It feels good. Biden, he's a great man. After meeting him, you know, he's just -- he understands where we're coming from. He lost a loved one before, and he wanted to pray with us today. And everything all worked out. You know, it worked out totally because we prayed so much for what's going on, and President Biden, he has solidified what a president is all about and what they should be about.

It's about love, being genuine, authentic and helping people get through hard times so they can get back to the good times.

LEMON: You both have said so much today. I know sometimes when you go over what you said and what you didn't, you say, I should have said this. I forgot to say that. Here's your chance.

CRUMP: Only thing I want to say is hopefully this is a new precedent in America where marginalized minorities, especially Black people, Don Lemon, that we can get full justice, not just partial justice, not just civil justice under the seventh amendment, which we control, and be denied justice under the 10th amendment, which the prosecutors control.

Where Keith Ellison and his amazing lawyers did, they said, no, no, we too are American citizens and we too deserve full justice and we should expect it.


LEMON: Keith Ellison said that this is -- he said he doesn't want to just say -- I'm paraphrasing here -- just justice today. He said, this is about accountability. We still have a long way to go.

And as I said earlier on the air, there were three things. That was one of the things that I thought was most important things that was said today. One was, is that this helps us further along the road to a better humanity. I certainly hope that's true. And that also says it sends a message to the Floyd family that his life matters, that all of our lives matter. And that was from Jerry Blackwell, one of the prosecutors.

I have to say before I let you go, Philonise, you have really transformed into a great spokesperson for your family, and the -- just the evolution throughout this process that you've undergone, it's just really amazing.

Your entire family today as I sat and listened to that press conference, they were inspirational. No one gives a playbook as to how to deal with being thrust upon an international stage, and you guys have handled it with dignity and grace. And the world can be proud of it and you should be proud of it as well. Thank you both. I appreciate it.

FLOYD: Thank you so much, don. You know the reason? Speaking with you when all of this (Inaudible).

CRUMP: I remember the first time that he cried and couldn't talk to you, Don.

LEMON: I remember. And I'll never forget when we had the police, me, you, Sara, and Ben and we had the police chief there on in Minneapolis and it was such a moving and I think pivotal moment in this case. You guys be well. Thank you for joining, OK?

FLOYD: Thank you, Don.

CRUMP: Thank you.

LEMON (on camera): Thank you very much. So, people are on the streets in Minneapolis tonight. Listen, marking the moment. We see all that. Well these are the real moments. I don't -- I don't know what questions -- there are questions sometimes in this teleprompter. There are questions on the script. I just talk to them like I would talk to anybody else. That's how I was feeling.

That family is feeling relief and they're feeling justice tonight. And you see smiles on their face and they have every right to be happy about what happened today. Can you imagine what it is been like the last year or so has been like for them? I can't even imagine.

So, let's wish them well and let's say good things about them. So, there we go. George Floyd plaza out in the Cup Foods where is this all started on May 25th, 2020. Without that video, without that video of 9 minutes and 29 seconds, what would have happened? Would this family have gotten justice today? That's the question.


UNKNOWN: Say his name.

CROWD: George Floyd.

UNKNOWN: Say his name.

CROWD: George Floyd.

UNKNOWN: Say his name.

CROWD: George Floyd.

UNKNOWN: Say his name.

CROWD: George Floyd.

UNKNOWN: Say his name.

CROWD: George Floyd. UNKNOWN: Say his name.

CROWD: George Floyd.

UNKNOWN: Say his name.

CROWD: George Floyd.

UNKNOWN: Say his name.

CROWD: George Floyd.

UNKNOWN: Say his name.

CROWD: George Floyd.

UNKNOWN: Say his name.

CROWD: George Floyd.




LEMON (on camera): So, here's our breaking news tonight. Derek Chauvin guilty on all charges in the murder of George Floyd. President Joe Biden calling the verdict a giant step towards justice in America.

I want to bring in now CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates and Baltimore City state's attorney Marilyn Mosby. Her office brought charges against the officers involved in the Freddie Gray death. No one was ultimately held accountable.

We're thankful to have both of you on this evening. Good evening.

Laura, I'm going to start with you. You say today's verdict will make it easier for you to answer your son when he asks, mommy, what if that happened to me?

LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I mean, the impression that most of America has that we have but one conversation with our sons and daughters, I believe it's a series of conversations. We're having them all the time. We're having them about through interactions at school, we're having interactions about our conversations about officers.

We're talking about this as a continuous thing. And now we at least have some way of showing them what a just society could look like. The idea of what justice looks like. The idea of having a trial where you don't have a thumb on the scale that undermines your ability to actually prosecute a case, that undermines your ability to actually get evidence in.

And you really have this idea and this way to contextualize what my son and daughter have been asking for over almost a year now and the idea what happened to that man, why did the police officers do it?

Did he say and give any reason why, mommy? Well now I at least I have some context here to provide and talk to him about what it looks like to prosecute a case like this and give them some semblance of security of safety tonight.

LEMON (on camera): And Marilyn, I want you to take a listen to what Minnesota's Attorney General Keith Ellison said about the people who witnessed George Floyd's murder. Here it is.


KEITH ELLISON, MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL: The people who stopped and raised their voices on May 25th, 2020, were a bouquet of humanity, a phrase I stole from my friend, Jerry Blackwell. They stopped and raised their voices and they even challenged authority because they saw his humanity.

They stopped and they raised their voices because they knew that what they were seeing was wrong. They didn't need to be medical professionals or experts in the use of force. They knew it was wrong. And they were right.


LEMON (on camera): Without these bystanders, Marilyn, and the critical video, do you think we would have seen a different verdict?

MARILYN MOSBY, MARYLAND STATE'S ATTORNEY, BALTIMORE CITY: Absolutely not. And the thing that is so compelling about this, I have to tell you, Don, that I started crying when I heard the verdict. Watching the Chauvin trial, the stakes could not have been any higher, not just for that family who deserves some semblance of justice for the tragic murder of their loved one that was captured on camera.

But the stakes could not have been higher because the world was literally watching to see if America's justice system lived up to the ideals of ensuring one standard of justice for all. Right? And Keith Ellison, and the prosecution, the team, they did an outstanding job in proving every element of the offense's charge.


But it was thanks to that video -- it was thanks to that video that visually depicted George Floyd being callously murdered on camera that could not be contradicted. And while I understood the prosecutor's argument to the jury, I wholeheartedly disagree that what Derek Chauvin did was not policing in America.

Because what Derek Chauvin did to George Floyd is absolutely policing in America for Black people in this country. The infliction of excessive force, the violation of de-escalation policies, the refusal to render aid, the complete and utter indifference to the lives of Black people is exactly what policing has been and continues to be for America -- in America -- for black people.


MOSBY: So, yes, Derek Chauvin was on trial but so was policing --


MOSBY: -- in America.

LEMON: Let me ask you and a clearer question would be, and I should have asked you that, a clear cut, do you think we would have had guilty on all three if the video -- if there was no video?

MOSBY: So, no. I think that the video was the most vital piece of evidence --

LEMON: Got it.

MOSBY: -- that we had.

LEMON: Got it.

MOSBY: It corroborated every one of those witnesses. And when you look at, you know, even -- when I tried the Freddie Kay (Ph) -- the Freddie Gray case, we didn't have cameras depicting the trial from start to finish.


MOSBY: There was no sort of direct evidence depicting the murder like there is in the Chauvin trial. We didn't have to -- we had to rely on circumstance evidence. We had to rely on police witnesses. We had training officials that testified for the defense.

The Fraternal Order of Police publicly touted sabotaging the case. That didn't happen in this trial. And you had the crumbling of this blue wall of silence, which typically doesn't happen in police misconduct cases.

LEMON: Hey, Laura.

MOSBY: And you saw training officers, you saw police chiefs that said no, no, no, not on my watch.

LEMON: Yes. Sorry, there was a delay here. Sorry, I didn't mean to cut you off, Marilyn. Laura, listen, I've got a lot to get to. But what do you expect for sentencing? Because I know you'll be covering.

COATES: Well, you know, and I commend Marilyn for talking about all the different ways in which the nuances of the wall of silence, why it was so different and distinct to have not just one, not two but so many officers come forward to say this is not who we are. He was not acting under the color of the law in a way that we can respect.

This is not somebody who is part of the noble profession of policing and this is not what policing in America is supposed to be. And so, it should be noted that that was also as compelling as that 9-minute and 29 second video. But you also have here the idea what comes next. And what comes next will first be the aggravating factor section of it

because the judge will be the one to now decide whether it the fact that it was an officer who did this to a civilian, whether the fact that it was done in front of children and the particularly vulnerable position that George Floyd was in, how these could aggravate the sentencing factors here which means you could increase it.

Now no one expects this man to be able to get the maximum penalty of either 40 years for the top charge, 25 years for the middle or even 10 years for the lower one, but you have a sentencing range that will now take into account these different aspects and these aggravating factors.

So, looking about an eight-week window now going forward where the judge is going to assess the aggravating factors. They're going to have a pre-sentence report, at which time Derek Chauvin will have an opportunity to speak when he did not take when he was in the trial to talk about whether he is remorseful, to provide some semblance of his explanation, if not justification, all with an eye toward the judge deciding what a holistic sentence will look like.

Because remember, he is not going to be life without -- life without parole, which means that rehabilitation, guard against recidivism, also any other reform measures it's all going to be part of it going forward. So, we are not ending this yet.

And by the way, finally, with every conviction comes a most assured appeal. And the defense has tried to preserve a number of things including the failure to sequester the jury. They're going to try the comments of Maxine Waters, Congressman Maxine Waters, excuse me, let me give her a proper title, Congressman Maxine Waters.

And they're all going to also talk about the reinstatement of the third-degree murder charge. So, ahead of us justice today, but it is still a long way for justice to be fully realized.

LEMON: Two very brilliant minds. I'm so glad that you're here to help us out with the story. Thank you. Both of you, thank you. I appreciate it. We will be right back.



LEMON (on camera): There's jubilation tonight in Minneapolis and around the country at Derek Chauvin's murder conviction in the death of George Floyd.

I want to bring in now Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. Senator, thank you. I really appreciate you joining us. You used to be the Hennepin County prosecutor, and you represent the state. Give me your reaction tonight.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): Well, the first just for the family, thinking about how much they've endured and how even though they knew they would never get George back and that he would never be able to hold his kids, the way they believed that justice could be done, the way they were patient and waited, I thought it was just an act of love.

And the second reaction was that Keith Ellison, my friend, just did an incredible job with this case. He didn't make it about him. He didn't do interview with you guys, right, during the case.

He didn't make it about the lawyers. There were a number of really good lawyers. But what he did and what they did, his lawyers did, was say, this is about the witnesses. Yes, this is about the tragic death of George Floyd, but it's also about his life.

And they told that story not only to the jury but America and having these people who are in my state, the person who worked in the store, the guy who was wracked with guilt for simply reporting the check.


You've got the guy, the passerby who somehow took it on himself that he should have done more. And in the end, the jury said, no, in this case right before us today, there was one person who did this, and it wasn't you, witnesses, that you didn't do enough. It was Derek Chauvin. And they convicted on every count.

LEMON: The people in Minneapolis know that there are still tremendous challenges faced by Black people and the way they are police -- policed. We have seen that in the case of Daunte Wright just this month. So, even with the reactions of this verdict, people are mourning.


LEMON: What's your message to them, Senator?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, I'm going to be there and talk to the family this week. And I got to say that we know that the verdict today was not an end. It was a beginning. And my first message is that we've got to pass the George Floyd Policing Act, Justice and Policing Act. Cory booker is leading that bill in the Senate. He's working so hard to get this done.

What you felt with that jury and what you feel with the people in my state, I think you're starting to see many people open their eyes for the first time. I'm not naive about this. I know how hard this was. But not enough of these cases have been brought. But most importantly, we need to pass that bill to change the standards and say that as a federal government these standards are changed.

So, that's the number one thing. The second is local police departments and training and who they're hiring and all kinds of things that has to be done.

LEMON: Yes. And that was part of your statement that you put out today. I'll just read it, just saying that we need to be committed for a more -- let me just put it up so you can see it. We need to be committed towards a more equitable system as part of the statement that you put out today. And you can read the statement. It's on our web site in the stories.

Thank you, senator. I wanted to get your voice in, and I appreciate you since you represent Minnesota.

KLOBUCHAR: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: I appreciate your time and I appreciate the work.


KLOBUCHAR: Well, thank you for covering (Ph) this case. Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you very much. Senator Amy Klobuchar.

So, this is a critical moment in the historic struggle facing people of color. Bernice King, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s daughter says it is a turning point and there she is. We'll talk to her after the break.




DWYANE WADE, FORMER NBA PLAYER: I was sitting in front of the TV watching the verdict come down and my hands starts sweating, my body starts shivering and my heart starts pounding because I was nervous. I was nervous because I didn't believe, right?

I'm sitting in front of the TV and I didn't believe. And even -- and when the verdict came down and all charges, you know, that we wanted was met, I still was staring at the TV listening to the judge because I was -- I was thinking that it was an outcoming. Because we had never seen this, you know. If it was any win today, to me it was a win for accountability. That's the only win today, was a win for accountability.


LEMON (on camera): Tonight, on the NBA on TNT, former NBA star Dwyane Wade describing his reaction as the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial was read. Finally, justice for George Floyd, for his family, and for everyone who loved him. But where does America go from here? That's the question.

Let's discuss now. Bernice King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who is now, she is the CEO of the King Center. Thank you for joining us. I really appreciate it. And it's good to see you.

BERNICE KING, CEO, KING CENTER: Good to see you. Thank you.

LEMON: You say -- you heard what Dwyane Wade said. Listen, the first thing I said earlier on TV when I heard that there was a verdict, that I was anxious. There was angst, people were concerned.

KING: Yes.

LEMON: You said it's a turning point now that it has been read. Why is that, Bernice?

KING: You know, before I say that, Don, I just want to just pause for a moment for the family of George Floyd. This is -- this is an important moment for them, and especially Gianna. She's a powerful young girl. She spoke this moment into existence. And I feel heard because I was five when my father was assassinated.

But as we look forward, I was -- I was like Dwayne today. I was nervous, I was anxious because for 400 years we'd gotten it wrong, and I think we approached this moment just believing that we couldn't -- we wouldn't get it right.


KING: And thank God that the verdict was just right. It was the right verdict, and God knew how much we could bear. This was the moment, the turning point -- that this is a turning point because in the movement that my father led in Montgomery, when that decision came down from the Supreme Court, they were in court being faced with an injunction against their carpool that would have shut the entire bus protest down.

But when that came through and said bus segregation is unconstitutional, it was a turning point for the movement of that time because people had seen over and over again denial of justice, the continuation of being treated -- not being treated with dignity.

And the same thing today. It's a turning point because people literally were at a point of being out of breath in this movement for justice and equity. And this is a moment of momentum now. It refused people in this continuum of justice fight, because it is a continuum. This was, as everybody's said, this was really about accountability. But it's only one small act.

LEMON: Can I --

KING: There's a broader system that we have to deconstruct.

LEMON: Can I just -- I didn't want you interrupt you, but I wanted -- can we talk about Gianna again and you? Because Gianna was six when she said that about her dad. You were five years old when it happened. And the thing -- I think what people don't see in these situations -- and I think it was, you know -- everyone tried to keep the focus on the humanity of George Floyd and the family.


KING: Right.

LEMON: And so, there's a six-year-old girl who is not going to spend time with her dad. You were a five-year-old girl that didn't get the opportunity to spend time -- any more time with your father. Can we talk about the humanity of the family and what the prosecutor

said, was that, this -- this is the road for a better humanity. Hopefully. Can you talk about that, please?

KING: Yes. You know, George Floyd was a human being who deserved to be treated with dignity as a person. But he had extensions. He had, you know, people who are related to him by blood, flesh and blood. And so, this -- this moment -- it's not a moment of restoring humanity, but it's a moment that we stop and realize that this family can have some sense of relief right now.

But you're right. I mean, it's hard losing a loved one and, certainly, in a tragic way and one that's taken from you. And it's difficult to process through all of this. There's a lot that you deal with through the years.

You know, I'm 58 now, and it's still with me. I have to see those images over and over again every year. And so, you know, as I said, I'm just -- I'm lifting up the family right now because people cannot forget in the middle of this there is a family. There is a family. Let's never forget that.


KING: There are families tonight -- this is bigger than George Floyd.


KING: This is about all the rest who did not get justice and the young lady that was killed in Ohio, Makiyah. This has to stop. We need to do something immediately and dig in and build coalitions and work together to challenge these unjust systems.

Let's not forget that Attorney General Keith Ellison and his team were very pivotal in this. And we've got to elect people who really understand the importance of ensuring more just decisions and processes when you're talking about a member of the criminal justice system.

LEMON: And --

KING: They have to be held accountable.


KING: And this moment really was about holding one of its own accountable.

LEMON: Yes. Well, I'm going to leave you with this, Bernice. And this is from a statement today and I think it rings true. And I appreciate you for your time. This is from the King Center statement. It's a quote from your dad and it says, "No, no, we are not satisfied and will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream." And I think that's exactly the sentiment that you said in your last statement. Thank you, Bernice King. KING: Thank you.

LEMON: I appreciate you joining us.

KING: God bless you.

LEMON: We'll be right back at the top of the hour.