Nancy Pelosi clarifies highly criticized George Floyd comment

"George Floyd should be alive today," she said later. "His family's calls for justice for his murder were heard."

On Tuesday, Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was criticized after thanking George Floyd for “sacrificing [his] life for justice.” 

The comment immediately received severe social media backlash. 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wears a “51” face mask during a news conference Wednesday about statehood for the District of Columbia at the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“No. This is not it. Black people are not sacrificial lambs,” one Twitter user wrote. “He was killed because of injustice, not as a symbol of anything. He was a human. A man. A father. A brother. Let’s not do this.”

Speaker Pelosi clarified the remarks in a follow-up statement on Twitter, 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,” she continued. “We must make sure other families don’t suffer the same racism, violence & pain, and we must enact the George Floyd #JusticeInPolicing Act.”

Pelosi, the 81-year-old California congresswoman, was the first woman named Speaker of the House in 2007. She is currently in her fourth term in the role and reportedly will not seek another term. 

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The House of Representatives has already passed the act, but it is unclear if it will pass in the Senate, where Democrats have a lone majority if Vice President Kamala Harris is called to break a 50-50 tie. 

President Joe Biden made clear he will sign the measure once it reaches his desk, saying on Tuesday, “George Floyd was murdered almost a year ago. It shouldn’t take a whole year to get this done.”

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act would prohibit racial and religious profiling, ban chokeholds, carotid holds and no-knock warrants, all of which are disproportionately used against Black people.

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The act has also been supported by former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama.

“We cannot rest,” said the Obamas in a statement. “We will need to follow through with the concrete reforms that will reduce and ultimately eliminate racial bias in our criminal justice system. We will need to redouble efforts to expand economic opportunity for those communities that have been too long marginalized.”

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