Democratic Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, who was accused of sexual assault, likened himself to George Floyd and Emmitt Till during a lieutenant governor debate Tuesday night.
“It recalls a history in Virginia and in our nation, where African Americans, and in particularly African American men, are presumed to be guilty, are treated inhumanely, are given no due process and have their lives impacted, and in some cases taken away, in an instant,” Fairfax said, noting earlier that what happened to Floyd was “horrific.”
????Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax: “He [Terry McAuliffe] treated me like George Floyd. He treated me like Emmett Till. No due process. Immediately assumed my guilt…” #VaDemsDebate #VaPolitics pic.twitter.com/8QpaLHbtnv
— Virginia Political News (@VaPoliticalNews) April 7, 2021
“And I think that in the interest of speaking truth to power here … we have a real world example, where I was falsely accused in 2019 [of sexual assault]… everyone here on the stage called for my immediate resignation including Terry McAuliffe minutes after the press release came out. He treated me like George Floyd, he treated me like Emmett Till, no due process, immediately assumed my guilt.”
Lt Gov. Justin Fairfax just equated Terry McAuliffe calling him to resign after he was accused of sexual assault to how George Floyd and Emmett Till were treated because there was “no due process”
— Deepa Shivaram (@deepa_shivaram) April 6, 2021
Fairfax was accused in 2019 of sexual assault for two separate incidents, according to CBS News. Fairfax denied the allegations, saying he was actually the victim of a smear campaign, according to USA Today. (RELATED: REPORT: Vice President At Columbia University Marcelo Velez Charged With Sexual Assault)
One of the women, Meredith Watson, alleged Fairfax locked the door of a dorm room and “did things you shouldn’t do to someone without their permission,” according to CBS News. Watson said she was “raped” and the incident was “not consensual.”
Vanessa Tyson also accused Fairfax of forcing her to perform non-consensual sexual acts, CBS News reported.
Till was murdered in 1955 for allegedly flirting with a white woman, Carolyn Bryant. Bryant’s husband and brother tortured Till, gouged out his eye, shot him in the head and there his body–which was tied to a cotton-gin fan with barbed wire–into the Tallahatchie River in Mississippi.
Bryant later admitted to fabricating the story.