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This Week on Washington Week: Former Police Officer Derek Chauvin Found Guilty In George Floyd Killing

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Nearly a year after the killing of George Floyd sparked a national reckoning on racism in America, the country experienced a pivotal moment of accountability this week. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter for kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes. It is exceedingly rare for on-duty police officers to be convicted of murder.

President Joe Biden applauded the ruling, and the verdict prompted informal negotiations among senators that could give new momentum to police reform legislation. Meanwhile on a state level, Republican leaders are passing strict new laws targeting protesters and providing immunity for drivers who hit protesters in the streets. Is Chauvin’s conviction a watershed moment for how the criminal justice system addresses policing and race? And what is motivating Republicans to push for new laws on protesting?

And on Earth Day, President Biden is hosting world leaders for a virtual climate summit. Biden committed to the U.S. cutting its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and will have to work with other countries, including Russia and China, to secure their commitments to addressing climate change. Can the U.S. win the trust of other countries after former President Donald Trump backed out of the Paris Climate Agreement? What solutions will Biden push to reach his ambitious target? And will Russia and China play ball?

Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent for The New York Times, is our guest moderator this week. He will be joined by:

  • Josh Lederman, Correspondent for NBC News
  • Toluse Olorunnipa, Political Investigations Reporter for The Washington Post
  • Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief for USA TODAY and author of “Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power”
  • Pierre Thomas, Chief Justice Correspondent for ABC News

The conversation continues on the Washington Week Extra, streaming live on Facebook, YouTube and our website at 8:30PM. We’ll be talking with Susan Page about her new book “Madam Speaker,” a biography of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.