As Blavity previously reported, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty by a jury of third-degree murder, second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter for the May 25, 2020 killing. The Black father was suffocated to death by Chauvin, who had his knee pressed into Floyd's neck for well over nine minutes as bystanders urged him to check Floyd's pulse.
On Tuesday, she spoke at a press conference with the Congressional Black Caucus on Capitol Hill and issued her first remarks following Chauvin's verdict, according to CNN.
"Thank you, George Floyd, for sacrificing your life for justice," she said. "For being there to call out to your mom, how heartbreaking was that," Pelosi said. "Your name will always be synonymous with justice."
Following the presser, droves of people took to Twitter, criticizing the California Democrat for her tone-deaf and insensitive remark.
One appalled Twitter user wrote, “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.”
Barbara Ransby, a University of Illinois history professor and activist, corrected Pelosi's assertion by citing the violent manner in which his life was taken.
“Did Pelosi just say ‘George Floyd, thank u 4 sacrificing your life for justice’?” she tweeted. “He did not SACRIFICE his life. His life was violently taken.”
Later on Tuesday evening, the 81-year-old politician elaborated on her original statement, writing that Floyd didn't die in vain as she endorsed legislation to combat police brutality.
"George Floyd should be alive today," Pelosi tweeted. "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."
Pelosi also said she had spoken to Floyd's family on Tuesday afternoon to offer her gratitude for their "grace and dignity," according to The New York Post.