Democratic New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said Tuesday night on MSNBC that the death of George Floyd was a “high-tech lynching.”
“What happened to George Floyd was a high-tech lynching,” Jeffries told MSNBC’s Ari Melber. “You know, it was a cold-blooded murder. It unfolded in front of the American people.”
Jeffries said that Floyd’s death led to a “necessary awakening” that America needs to deal with police brutality and excessive force. He added that the majority of police officers that he interacted with are hard-working citizens trying to protect their communities, but the video of Floyd’s death shows that there is a problem. (RELATED: Here’s How Derek Chauvin Plans To Defend Himself)
“We need accountability in this trial,” Jeffries said. “But we also need to move the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act through the Senate, get it to the president’s desk.”
The George Floyd Justice In Policing Act is a sweeping police reform bill that would ban chokeholds, eliminate qualified immunity for law enforcement and prohibit no-knock warrants. It passed in the House of Representatives on March 4 with a vote of 220-212.
Jeffries praised Democratic California Rep. Karen Bass for “doing a great job in making sure that we address the overall issue while we demand justice in this particular case for George Floyd.”
Tuesday was the second day of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the death of George Floyd. A video shows Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes.
The prosecution has argued that Chauvin is directly responsible for Floyd’s death by kneeling on his neck, while the defense claimed that Floyd died of heart problems or an overdose.