Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi thanked George Floyd for "sacrificing his life for justice" after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder yesterday...
But her controversial comments have certainly divided opinion.
Scroll on to find out why...
Now, it's been a crucial month for America's justice system.
Derek Chauvin's highly-anticipated murder trial kicked off in Minneapolis at the Hennepin County Courthouse on March 29th.
According to the Daily Mail, the prosecution started proceedings by playing the horrifying video of the moment the accused, Derek Chauvin, dug his knee into George Floyd's neck as he cried out, "I can't breathe."
As the trial of Derek Chauvin begins, my thoughts are with the Floyd family and every American impacted by racist police brutality collectively reliving this trauma today. May justice be served.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) March 30, 2021
Special prosecutor Jerry Blackwell told the jury in his opening statement:
"You can believe your eyes. That it's homicide, it's murder."
Alongside numerous eye-witnesses who testified against Chauvin, never-before-seen bodycam footage from the events of May 25th was also presented to the jury...
And gave fresh details of the minutes leading up to Floyd's arrest, as well as the moment he was confronted by the police officers.
As reported by BBC News, the court was shown bodycam footage from Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, all of whom are facing aiding and abetting charges.
In the footage, Floyd can be seen sitting behind the wheel of his car, begging the officers not to shoot him.
At one point, one of the officers pulls his gun as Floyd continues to plead with them.
Floyd was visibly very distressed by the presence of the police officers, and can be heard saying:
"Please don't shoot me, please, man… I just lost my mom."
Of course, the footage was utterly chilling to watch...
And days on from that revelation, the prosecution called an outside expert witness to testify about Floyd's cause of death.
Prosecutors say that Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck contributed to his death...
While Chauvin's defense argued that Floyd's use of illicit drugs and his underlying medical conditions were the key factors.
Dr. Martin Tobin, a pulmonary and critical medicine doctor with forty-five years of experience in the field also testified...
And he wholeheartedly supported the theory that Floyd was killed as a result of Chauvin's pressure on his neck.
"Mr. Floyd died from a low level of oxygen, and this caused damage to his brain that we see, and it also caused a PEA arrhythmia that caused his heart to stop."
The evidence continued to stack up against Chauvin...
And, clearly in panic mode, his defense continued to stress that Floyd had already put himself at risk by swallowing drugs and resisting officers trying to arrest him - factors that compounded his vulnerability to a diseased heart, raising sufficient doubt that Chauvin should be acquitted.
However, despite his defence's best efforts...
Things didn't go in Chauvin's favor.
Because yesterday on April 20th, Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd.
The jury found the former police officer guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
Millions from all around the world tuned in to witness the live footage of Judge Peter Cahill reading out Chauvin's guilty verdict...
And the ex-cop was seen sitting motionlessly and calm as the verdicts were read out.
The entire world has been rejoicing since Chavin's guilty verdict came through...
Derek Chauvin’s conviction is not justice - it’s accountability.— Nadia Whittome MP (@NadiaWhittomeMP) April 21, 2021
George Floyd is still dead. Black lives continue to be lost at the hands of the state, in the US and in the UK.
Justice demands we dismantle the systemic racism which enabled Floyd's murder.
But many have been keen to remind others that this doesn't mean justice has been served - a lot still needs to be done about systemic racism and the way police officers here in the U.S treat people of color.
Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, addressed Chauvin's verdict at a press conference shortly afterward...
But her bizarre comments didn't sit well with people all across the country who were eagerly listening.
Just like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did not “sacrifice” his life for justice, George Floyd did not “sacrifice” his life either. These people were not saviors or Jesus reincarnated, they are victims of violence perpetuated and upheld by the State.— ✨Manifesting✨ (@WilsonNoWorries) April 20, 2021
This is why I don't claim a side/party anymore. They stopped working for us a long time ago. It's all a ploy for votes.— @HeartLikeAHandGrenade (@HeartLikeAHand1) April 20, 2021
This was not "off the cuff." She had weeks to prepare for this moment aided by an army of staffers. She holds one of the most important jobs in government, second in line to the presidency. She literally had one job, and she blew it.— Free Parking is Socialism for Cars (@dnkittredge) April 20, 2021
The woman standing next to her should have interrupted her and said you're wrong for that statement. You just thanked George Floyd for being murdered. Then she should've pushed her away from the microphone— Maya ♥️s Olynyk (@RowdyMaya) April 20, 2021
That heartless woman. No one should have to sacrifice themselves for justice or to make a point. His plans that day was never to die for justice. She’s #bs with her fake speech. If that poor man didn’t cry out to the Lord during those last minutes of his life he didn’t make it. pic.twitter.com/7fYW5pWXde— JoJo Valdez 🎶 (@moderndayfreak) April 21, 2021
However, many have been defending Pelosi for simply "using the wrong words" during her speech...
It was clumsy wording, but this criticism is unfair and taken out of the context of Pelosis record on social justice.— Jordan Fantauzzo (@FantauzzoJordan) April 20, 2021
Spot on. I believe the sentiment was trying to convey was that his death wasn’t in vain. That’s all.— FaithNoMore (@DonsMan80) April 20, 2021
Honestly, I don’t think she meant it the way it came out.— @chesse621 (@chesse621) April 20, 2021
I get what she’s saying she just worded it really wrong— gossipgirl.bre (@teawithbreee) April 21, 2021
Speaking in a press conference from Washington D.C, Pelosi looked up to the sky and said:
"Thankyou George Floyd for sacrificing your life for justice."
She went on:
"For being there to call out to your mom... how heartbreaking was that? 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."
She later tweeted a clarification of her remarks, writing:
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. https://t.co/tWln9NRg1g— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) April 20, 2021
"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."
You can hear Pelosi's controversial speech here:
Nancy Pelosi thanks George Floyd for being murdered pic.twitter.com/na0Fjoj891— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 20, 2021
Do you think she was insensitive for saying these words? Or do you think this is a case of some bad wording and a simple misunderstanding?