After former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi thanked Floyd “for sacrificing your life for justice.”
She thanked him for “being there to call out” to his mom, and noted how heartbreaking it was.
“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 and now we have to make sure justice prevails in the sentencing,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi’s statement was quickly slammed on social media. Many said it was tone deaf and argued she should not treat Floyd as a sacrificial lamb toward police reform.
“He didn’t willingly accept his fate for anything,” one person on Twitter said. “He was unjustly taken away from his family and loved ones.”
Floyd’s death triggered worldwide protests, violence and a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S. He died last May after Chauvin, a white officer, pinned his knee on or close to the 46-year-old Black man’s neck for about 9 1/2 minutes.
The jury deliberated about 10 hours over two days in a city on edge against another outbreak of unrest.