After the verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was announced, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed her gratitude for "justice" — by thanking George Floyd for “sacrificing” his life.
"Thank you, George Floyd, for sacrificing your life for justice," Pelosi said Tuesday at a press conference on Capitol Hill with members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
"For being there to call out to your mom,” Pelosi continued. "How heartbreaking was that? Call out for your mom. 'I can't breathe.'”
"But because of you and because of thousands, millions of people around the world who came out for justice, your name will be synonymous with justice," she added.
Pelosi’s comments met harsh criticism, with observers noting that Floyd’s death wasn’t a “sacrifice” — Chauvin had just been convicted of his murder.
In a subsequent tweet, Pelosi clarified her remarks.
"George Floyd should be alive today," Pelosi wrote on Twitter. "His family’s calls for justice for his murder were heard around the world. He did not die in vain. We must make sure other families don't suffer the same racism, violence & pain, and we must enact the George Floyd #JusticeInPolicing Act."
Chauvin was convicted Tuesday, nearly one year after kneeling on Floyd’s neck in an incident that sparked global protests against police brutality.
After less than 12 hours of deliberations, the jury returned its verdict against Chauvin, finding him guilty on all three counts: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Cover thumbnail photo: José Luis Magana/AP
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