Pelosi Remarks Ahead of Moment of Silence to Honor George Floyd

June 8, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass and Members of Congress for a moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to honor George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and other Black Americans who have been extrajudicially killed.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.  Good morning, everyone.

It is an honor to be here with the Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, House and Senate; our distinguished Chair Karen Bass; Senator Booker; Senator Harris; the distinguished Leader – Democratic Leader of the Senate, Mr. Schumer.  

We are gathered here in Emancipation Hall, aptly named for those that built the Capitol, sadly.  Last summer, a number of us, under the leadership of Karen Bass, went to Ghana to observe the 400th anniversary of the first slaves coming across the Atlantic.  That tragedy, that horror of history.  Then, slavery in our own country, and all the consequences of that. 

We are here to observe that pain.  We are here to respect the actions of the American people to speak out against that, specifically manifested in police brutality.  We are here to honor George Floyd.

In a moment, 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 and were abused by police brutality.  Before that, I want to yield to the distinguished Leader of the Senate, Mr. Schumer.

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Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you very much, Mr. Leader.

Before we have our moment of silence, which, as you indicated, is a very long time, especially with someone's knee on your neck, we gather in honor of those Americans, and so many others: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Jordan Davis, Oscar Grant, Philando Castile, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin.  Any other names Members wish to share?

Members.  Amadou Diallo.  Sean Bell.  Jordan Davis.  Freddie Gray.  Steven Taylor. Eula Love. 

Speaker Pelosi.  Anyone else?

Members.  Ahmaud Arbery. 

Speaker Pelosi.  Well, during a moment of silence, I am sure that those who have been hurt by all of this won't mind if you shout out names then.  

For those who wish to, we will now kneel for our moment of silence.