Pelosi Remarks at Press Event Following the Derek Chauvin Murder Trial Verdict

April 20, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined the Congressional Black Caucus at a press event following the verdict of the Derek Chauvin murder trial­.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:  

Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you very much, Madam Chair.  As you probably know, there are many honors that are afforded to a Member of Congress, and certainly many more to the Speaker of the House.  But nothing surpasses the honor of being with the Black Caucus today, when we have seen a step in the right direction for justice done.

Earlier, around three o'clock, I spoke to the family to say to them, ‘Thank you, God bless you, for your grace and your dignity, for the model that you are, appealing for justice in the most dignified way.’  They are in search of justice then, and now they see this giant step.  But as our colleagues have said, it's not over.

They complimented the Congressional Black Caucus for its role that it has played in all of this.  They're eager to see Karen Bass’ George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed and signed by the President into law.  

All of them – well, Philonise has, you know, become a star.  Rodney and Terrence, the brothers.  Bridgett is their sister.  We all know Ketta, who is a force of nature within the family.  Gianna, the little girl, his daughter, Gianna, to see this justice on behalf of her father.  His name synonymous with justice and dignity and grace and prayerfulness – and prayerfulness.  So, we thank God.  We thank Jesus because we were praying to him all along.  Right, darling?  Praying?  We thank God.  They are people of faith.  They conveyed that to me on the phone, but they've conveyed it all along.

So, as we – eight weeks, according to what the judge said on this before, we know the sentencing, but that's part of the justice of it all, as well. 

Mr. Clyburn has been a solid, steady, steady force for all of us here.  Because this is there – this was traumatic.  My little granddaughter, who just turned twelve, she said, ‘Why is it taking so long?’  Well, it didn’t take that long, but – ‘We all saw it on TV.  We saw it happen.’  And thank God, the jury validated what we saw, what we saw. 

So, again, thank you George Floyd for sacrificing your life for justice.  For being there to call out to your mom.  How heart-breaking was that?  To call out to 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.  And now we have to make sure justice prevails in the sentencing.  But that's, you know, that’s its own procedure. 

Our responsibility is to make sure that Karen Bass, who has been so open to justice, with the bill that she put together, she wrote – and now trying to find areas of agreement in the Senate.  Because unless we can change the law, this will be an episode.  We change the law, we're going down a different path altogether. 

So thank you, Madam Chair Beatty, for your great leadership in all of this, for being a steady voice, for keeping some of us who just were calling constantly, ‘Did you hear anything?’ or whatever, in a place where we could follow the lead of the family: grace, dignity, prayerfulness, but having a rage for justice, which is what we all have.

With that, I yield back to the distinguished Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and let's hear it for the Congressional Black Caucus.  That's an applause line.