Appearing on MSNBC, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to apologize for saying that Republicans are “trying to get away with the murder of George Floyd” with their police reform bill.
“Absolutely, positively not,” Pelosi replied after being asked if she would apologize. “The fact is… I think you, frankly, in the press have given them far too much credit for a bill that does nothing. They’re saying, well, you have their bill, they have theirs. Yeah, our bill does something. Theirs does nothing.”
Speaker Pelosi says she will "absolutely, positively" not apologize for saying that Republicans are "trying to get away with the murder of George Floyd" with their police reform bill pic.twitter.com/HtPtyRa47w
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 24, 2020
Per WashingtonExaminer, Pelosi said she was not singling out Scott, the sole black Republican senator, when she told CBS News Radio, “[Republicans] were trying to get away with murder, actually. The murder of George Floyd.” She said she was mainly referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“I’m talking about Mitch McConnell. Mitch McConnell could open this up again and have an open Judiciary Committee consideration of a bill where they could come together and get something done,” she said. “The reason we have overwhelming support across the country — young people, sports figures, big-time names in the people of color communities, and the rest — is that bill gets something done.”
“So, when you all in the press say, can’t you compromise? No, we can’t compromise if they say no chokeholds and they say some chokeholds. What’s the compromise? Fewer chokeholds? No. No chokeholds. But that we have to have some fundamental stipulation of fact that certain things are wrong. Their bill is a non-starter,” she said.
Pelosi accused Republicans of trying to “ignore hundreds of thousands of people in the streets” who have been protesting since Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died late last month after being arrested by a white Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck.
“It’s not too late,” Pelosi said while urging Republicans to look at legislation from House Democrats. “Mitch McConnell can take the good faith of Tim Scott or other members who may want to cooperate and write a bill in a bipartisan way in their Judiciary Committee and see where they come out.”
Senate Republicans had called on Pelosi to apologize to Scott for her “disgusting” remarks about his legislation. Scott said Tuesday that he has been the recipient of death threats and racial slurs since becoming the lead Republican on the issue of policing.
The officer who pressed a knee to Floyd’s neck, Derek Chauvin, was fired from the department and has been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The three other officers who were involved in detaining Floyd, who was suspected of using a fake $20 bill, were also fired and charged with aiding and abetting murder.
Protesters have sought to raise awareness about systemic racism and police brutality against non-white people. Some activists have called for abolishing the police, but observers say the “defund the police” movement is more about shrinking the police budget and shifting funds over to mental healthcare, affordable housing, and other services.