House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the latest to face backlash on social media after she thanked George Floyd for “sacrificing your life for justice,” following the conviction on Tuesday afternoon of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin on murder and manslaughter charges. Speaking alongside the Congressional Black Caucus after Chauvin’s verdict was handed down, the House Democrat looked up to the sky during the press conference and said, “thank you, George Floyd, for sacrificing your life for justice. For being there to call out to your mom. How heartbreaking was that? [To] 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 always be synonymous with justice.”
As expected, critics from both sides were angered by her remarks. Several stated Pelosi’s comments were harsh, observing that Floyd’s death wasn’t a sacrifice, rather a homicide. Huffington Post editor Philip Lewis stated, “Nancy Pelosi thanks George Floyd for being murdered.” New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz also reacted to the comments, writing, “What in the actual f.” Guardian writer Hannah Parkinson tweeted, “Ummm… he didn’t sacrifice his life… he was brutally, horrifically murdered. What the hell is this,” while LA Times reporter Melissa Evans wrote, “Sacrifice implies he had a choice.”
Nancy Pelosi Faces Backlash on Social Media
Pelosi did clarify her remarks on Twitter saying that Floyd should be alive today. She wrote, “George Floyd should be alive today. 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 nearly one year after kneeling on Floyd’s neck in an incident that sparked several Global protests against police brutality. In less than 12 hours of deliberation, the jury returned its guilty verdict against Chauvin, finding him guilty on all three counts: second-degree unintentional murder, second-degree manslaughter, and third-degree murder.