On April 20, 2021, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke at a news conference following the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of murder and manslaughter charges in the killing of George Floyd. In the course of her comments, Pelosi reportedly said something that caught the ear of social media users: “Thank you George Floyd for sacrificing your life for justice.”
Conflating "being murdered" for "sacrificing your life" is the sort of statement you make when you have no skin in the game and eager to return to peaceable status quo ASAP https://t.co/eulKRLi9o8
— austin walker (@austin_walker) April 20, 2021
This was a genuine quote. It’s true that Pelosi said “Thank you George Floyd for sacrificing your life for justice.”
Video was subsequently shared to social media that confirmed the remarks were real.
Speaker Pelosi: "Thank you George Floyd for sacrificing your life for justice … 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."pic.twitter.com/JfapSsKdtX
— The Recount (@therecount) April 20, 2021
Thank you George Floyd for sacrificing your life for justice. For being there to call out to your mom. 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 always be synonymous with justice.
According to The Associated Press, Chauvin, who is 45, may spend the rest of his life behind bars:
Former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday of murder and manslaughter for pinning George Floyd to the pavement with his knee on the Black man’s neck in a case that touched off worldwide protests, violence, and a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.
The verdict set off jubilation around the city. People instantly flooded the surrounding streets downtown, running through traffic with banners. Cars blared their horns. Floyd family members who had gathered at a Minneapolis conference room could be heard cheering and even laughing.
The jury of six white people and six Black or multiracial people came back with its verdict after about 10 hours of deliberations over two days. Chauvin was found guilty on all charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
In sum, it was true that Pelosi said: “Thank you George Floyd for sacrificing your life for justice.”