Joe Biden called George Floyd's family to say he's 'praying' for them as they await the verdict
via US Secretary of Defense / Flickr and The Today Show

As the nation braces itself for the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, President Biden has embraced the family of George Floyd at what has to be an incredibly stressful time.

Following closing arguments in the Chauvin trial on Monday, Judge Peter Cahill has sent jurors to deliberate. The verdict is expected to come in the next few days.

"He was just calling," George's brother, Philonise Floyd, said about the president. "He knows how it is to lose a family member, and he knows the process of what we're going through. So he was just letting us know that he was praying for us, hoping that everything will come out to be OK."

Biden lost his wife and one-year-old daughter in a tragic car accident in 1972 and his son Beau to cancer in 2015.


The president's kind-hearted actions seem like an extension of the Healer-in-Chief role he's created for himself since taking office in January.

The nation has been in mourning after the devastation caused by COVID-19, the murder of George Floyd, and a contentious election.

On Tuesday, Biden shared his thoughts on the trial because they won't interfere with the deliberations of the sequestered jury. Ahead of a meeting with lawmakers in the Oval Office on Tuesday, Biden said he is "praying the verdict is the right verdict" that he believes the evidence to be "overwhelming."

The president has previously denounced Floyd's death but hasn't shared his opinion on the trial.

The upcoming verdict has the nation on edge. Regardless of the outcome, people are going to take to the streets. Many fear that if Chauvin gets off, there will be widespread civil unrest. However, Philonise Floyd says that his family is cautiously "optimistic."

"Me and my family, we pray about it every day," Floyd said. But he feels that the decision will be a reckoning on the current state of justice in America.

"I just feel that in America, if a Black man can't get justice for this, what can a Black man get justice for?" he asked.

The family hopes that if people take to the streets, regardless of the verdict, they will be "peaceful." But Philonise understands the grief that many are feeling across the nation. This feeling was recently exacerbated after Duante Wright was killed by a police officer a few miles from where Floyd died.

"But at the same time, I can't stop people from doing the things that they're doing because people are in pain," Floyd said. "They're hurt."

The 12 jurors in the trial have three counts to consider as they come to a verdict. Chauvin is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. He could be found guilty of all the charges, some or none.

If Chauvin is convicted of the most serious charge, he faces 12.5 years or 15 months in prison under sentencing guidelines for a first-time offender. However, the prosecution claims there are aggravating factors that could result in a longer sentence.

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When Molly Reeser was a student at Michigan State University, she took a job mucking horse stalls to help pay for classes. While she was there, she met a 10-year-old girl named Casey, who was being treated for cancer, and — because both were animal lovers — they became fast friends.

Two years later, Casey died of cancer.

"Everyone at the barn wanted to do something to honor her memory," Molly remembers. A lot of suggestions were thrown out, but Molly knew that there was a bigger, more enduring way to do it.

"I saw firsthand how horses helped Casey and her family escape from the difficult and terrifying times they were enduring. I knew that there must be other families who could benefit from horses in the way she and her family had."

Molly approached the barn owners and asked if they would be open to letting her hold a one-day event. She wanted to bring pediatric cancer patients to the farm, where they could enjoy the horses and peaceful setting. They agreed, and with the help of her closest friends and the "emergency" credit card her parents had given her, Molly created her first Camp Casey. She worked with the local hospital where Casey had been a patient and invited 20 patients, their siblings and their parents.

The event was a huge success — and it was originally meant to be just that: a one-day thing. But, Molly says, "I believe Casey had other plans."

One week after the event, Molly received a letter from a five-year-old boy who had brain cancer. He had been at Camp Casey and said it was "the best day of his life."

"[After that], I knew that we had to pull it off again," Molly says. And they did. Every month for the next few years, they threw a Camp Casey. And when Molly graduated, she did the most terrifying thing she had ever done and told her parents that she would be waitressing for a year to see if it might be possible to turn Camp Casey into an actual nonprofit organization. That year of waitressing turned into six, but in the end she was able to pull it off: by 2010, Camp Casey became a non-profit with a paid staff.

"I am grateful for all the ways I've experienced good luck in my life and, therefore, I believe I have a responsibility to give back. It brings me tremendous joy to see people, animals, or things coming together to create goodness in a world that can often be filled with hardships."

Camp Casey serves 1500 children under the age of 18 each year in Michigan. "The organization looks different than when it started," Molly says. "We now operate four cost-free programs that bring accessible horseback riding and recreational services to children with cancer, sickle cell disease, and other life-threatening illnesses."

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