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Profound moment finds Biden in wake of Chauvin verdict: The Note

The TAKE with Rick Klein

The scenes from the aftermath were of celebration, emotion, relief — a sudden and decisive end to a searing chapter that lasted just shy of a year, though one that truly has spanned many decades.

But for the guilty findings in connection with the killing of George Floyd to mark a true turning point will take much more than verdicts in Minneapolis. It falls now to a president elected on the promise of unity to both heal and advance policy in tense and still-uncertain times.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the guilty verdict against former police officer Derek Chauvin at the White House on April 20, 2021.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the guilty verdict against former police officer Derek Chauvin at the White House on April 20, 2021.

“This can be a moment of significant change,” the president said, in a line he appeared to add to his prepared remarks.

Similarly, “Defund the police” and “Black Lives Matter” are slogans, not policy. Now come thorny questions of policing tactics, oversight, justice and sentencing — all while knowing how close the nation is to more protests that can easily turn violent and how readily partisan grooves can take control.

PHOTO: Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden leave after delivering remarks on the guilty verdict against former policeman Derek Chauvin at the White House, April 20, 2021.

Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden leave after delivering remarks on the guilty verdict against former policeman Derek Chauvin at the White House, April 20, 2021.

It’s trite to say that the hard work begins now. But contrast how apparently easy the guilty verdicts were with how difficult the policy choices are now to get a sense of what political leaders confront from here.

The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper

For activists, advocates and communities of color, the urgency behind the need for police reform does not end with the guilty verdict in Minneapolis.

Biden must go beyond kind words of empathy if he plans to make good on his promise to create transformative change on police reform and institutional racism.

PHOTO: President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the guilty verdict against former policeman Derek Chauvin at the White House, April 20, 2021, with Vice President Kamala Harris.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the guilty verdict against former policeman Derek Chauvin at the White House, April 20, 2021, with Vice President Kamala Harris.

White House officials have referred to passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act as its “top priority” for the administration as it relates to police reform. The legislation passed the House of Representatives last month, but chances of passing in the Senate are slim at best where it faces staunch Republican opposition.

Partisan division will not lessen the pressure to act on police reform for the Biden administration and in the aftermath of the verdict the call to build on the momentum created by this case will only grow louder.

The yellow paint that marks “Black Lives Matter” outside of the White House should be a reminder to the Biden administration that, for so many, the work of truly dignifying Black lives remains unfinished.

The TIP with Quinn Scanlan

The effort in state legislatures to enact new restrictions on voting has been distinctly Republican-led, but in Florida at least one lawmaker is bucking his party, not yet on board with the omnibus bill advancing through the Senate.

PHOTO: People stand in line to vote, Nov. 3, 2020, in Palm Beach, Fla.

People stand in line to vote, Nov. 3, 2020, in Palm Beach, Fla.

State Sen. Jeff Brandes was the lone GOP “nay” vote when SB 90 advanced out of the Rules Committee Tuesday. Two of the bill’s most controversial provisions — one eliminating drop boxes entirely and another wiping out existing vote-by-mail applications — had already been amended, but Brandes still joined Democrats in opposing the bill.

“To my knowledge, not one Republican supervisor of elections in the state of Florida supports this bill in its current form,” Brandes said. “Even our good friend Sen. (Alan) Hays, who has left here to become a supervisor of elections — one of the most staunch conservatives that has run through this chamber — has strongly opposed this piece of legislation and believes that it will not work … Therefore, I will not support it.”

One provision Brandes took issue with deals with the signature matching verification process, which impacts mail voters. Election supervisors would be required to compare the voter’s signature to a so-called “wet signature” — one physically signed on paper with a writing utensil — in the voter’s record. But because Florida does online voter registration, which allows digital signatures, there are hundreds of thousands of voters — potentially millions — who do not have a “wet signature” on file.

Senators filed amendments to SB 90 throughout Tuesday, and those will be debated and voted on Wednesday when the bill is taken up for a second reading on the Senate floor.

THE PLAYLIST

ABC News’ “Start Here” podcast. Wednesday morning’s special edition of ‘Start Here’ breaks down the guilty verdicts against Derek Chauvin trial in the murder of George Floyd. ABC News’ Stephanie Wash tells us about her experience with the Floyd family as they learned of the verdict. Then, attorney and ABC News contributor Channa Lloyd tells us what comes next in the sentencing phase. ABC News’ Alex Perez explains how the streets of Minnesota is reacting. Then, ABC News ‘Nightline’ co-anchor Byron Pitts explains what this moment could mean for the social justice movement in America. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

ABC News’ “Powerhouse Politics” podcast. USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page, author of “Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power,” talks with ABC News Political Director Rick Klein and Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl. https://bit.ly/3oMKdUP

ABC News’ “Tulsa’s Buried Truth” podcast. At the scene of one of the worst acts of racial violence in American history, ABC News Senior National Correspondent Steve Osunsami looks back at the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. A century after the Tulsa Race Massacre, the search for mass graves begins. But as Tulsa contends with its past, questions about the future of Greenwood may divide the city even further. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-lost-graves/

ABC News Originals’ “It’s Not Too Late: Earth Day Special.” The special, hosted by ABC News Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee, examines the climate crisis and potential solutions. It features interviews with the first White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy, former EPA head Lisa Jackson, the first Middle Eastern female astronaut to travel to space Anousheh Ansari and some of the youth activists around the world aiming to make a difference. The special launches on Hulu Wednesday and streams Thursday on ABC News Live.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

  • Ben Crump, attorney for George Floyd’s family, appears on ABC’s “The View.”
  • President Joe Biden receives the president’s daily brief at 9:50 a.m. and delivers remarks on the COVID-19 response and the state of vaccinations at 1:15 p.m.
  • The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation holds a nomination hearing at 10 a.m. to consider the nominations of Bill Nelson to be NASA Administrator and Lina Khan to be a commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan and Deputy Chief Financial Officer David Bloom appear before the House Appropriations Committee at 10 a.m. on the agency’s budget request.
  • Second gentleman Douglas Emhoff visits a community health center in Burlington, Vermont, at 11 a.m. and holds a listening session on targeted vaccination outreach efforts to underserved populations. Gov. Phil Scott, Lt. Gov. Molly Gray and Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., join him.
  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki holds a briefing at 12:15 p.m.
  • Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman, J. Brett Blanton, architect of the Capitol, and Senate Sergeant at Arms Karen Gibson appear before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Legislative Branch at 2 p.m. on its proposed budget.
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge appears before the House Appropriations Committee at 2 p.m. for a hearing on the department’s budget request.
  • First lady Jill Biden travels to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and visits First Choice Community Healthcare, South Valley Medical Center with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham at 2:30 p.m. MT.
  • Download the ABC News app and select “The Note” as an item of interest to receive the day’s sharpest political analysis.

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.




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