Clad in African stoles and facial masks, congressional Democrats “took a knee” for nearly nine minutes Monday morning in honor of career criminal George Floyd.
“We are here to honor George Floyd,” said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. “We will have a moment of silence, actually eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence in honor of George Floyd and so many others who lost their lives or were abused by police brutality.”
Pelosi didn’t stipulate whether Democrats were kneeling for all races of Americans who have fallen victim to police brutality, or only black victims. Although blacks commit a disproportionate number of violent crimes compared to other races, there were only ten cases in which unarmed blacks were fatally shot by the police in 2019. That same year there were nineteen cases where unarmed whites were fatally shot by police.
In addition to Pelosi, those who participated included Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, California Sen. Kamala Harris and New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who remained standing presumably due to health issues.
“Every American should try to stand in silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds to acknowledge the pain of George Floyd and the pain of racism,” Schumer said.
The Democrats’ moment of silence honoring Floyd, lasted 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck, leading to his death.
Floyd’s violent criminal history included drug abuse, theft, criminal trespassing, and an aggravated robbery in which he invaded a pregnant woman’s home and pointed a gun at her stomach while looking for drugs and money.
At the time of his last confrontation with the police, he was under the influence of fentanyl and had methamphetamine in his system.
Congressional Democrats take a knee as they observe a nearly nine minute moment of silence for George Floyd at Emancipation Hall at the U.S. Capitol. https://t.co/sIuXyTKqKs pic.twitter.com/fYf2GATvLT
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 8, 2020
Some pundits are impressed by Democrats’ virtue signalling displays, others not-so-much:
A friend sent this picture to me with the note: "This looks like we lost the war with the Taliban." pic.twitter.com/HXUbMGvn7z
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) June 8, 2020
Following their moment of silence for Floyd, House and Senate Democrats held a news conference to unveil the Justice In Policing Act of 2020.
According to an early draft of the legislation, the Justice in Policing Act “would limit legal protections for police, create a national database of excessive-force incidents and ban police choke holds, among other changes.” The effort is being lead by the Congressional Black Caucus.
Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., chairwoman of the CBC, called the ambitious legislation “bold” and “transformative.”
“The world is witnessing the birth of a new movement in this country,” Bass said.
The legislation seeks to remove “the barrier of prosecuting police misconduct;” demilitarize the police; and combat police brutality by requiring body cameras and dashboard cameras.”
After the Ferguson riots of 2014, many police departments mandated body cameras and dashboard cameras, protecting officers from false accusations of police brutality and racism.
Schumer said at the news conference that the policies in the legislation have never been mandated “at the federal level.”
“We cannot settle for anything less than transformative, structural change,” Pelosi said.