Five Democrat senators knelt during a moment of silence for George Floyd in a caucus meeting on Capitol Hill Thursday afternoon.
Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) knelt, which lasted for eight minutes and 46 seconds, The Hill reported. That was the length of time fired Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck before he died. Chauvin faces a second-degree murder charge over the incident.
Senate Chaplin Barry Black led a prayer, then Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., spoke about Floyd, Fox News reported.
“His family wants him to be remembered not for his death, but for being family-oriented, loving and Godly,” Booker read.
“For eight minutes and 46 seconds Officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on George Floyd’s neck,” Booker described. “As he kneeled on his neck, and he yelled, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe” and called for his mother — today we gather here in solemn reverence to not just mark his tragic death but to give honor to his life.”
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “As we continue working on policing reform and demanding Senator Mitch McConnell commit to holding a vote ASAP:
Senate Democrats stood together for a moment of silence in Emancipation Hall to honor the life of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and far too many others.”
As we continue working on policing reform and demanding Senator Mitch McConnell commit to holding a vote ASAP:
Senate Democrats stood together for a moment of silence in Emancipation Hall to honor the life of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and far too many others. pic.twitter.com/sytEIVqMHP
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 4, 2020
Schumer referred to pending legislation in Congress.
Congressional Democrats are preparing a massive package of police reforms, the Associated Press reported. Both the House and Senate bills are expected to include changes to police accountability laws, such as revising immunity provisions and creating a database of police use-of-force incidents. Revamped training requirements are planned
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes. AP Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.
Photo “Kneeling Senators” by Chuck Schumer.