Republicans in Congress were largely silent on the matter.
Only three congressional Republicans mentioned George Floyd on Tuesday, on the one-year anniversary of his death at the hands of Minneapolis police.
There are 261 Republicans in the current House of Representatives and Senate combined.
Floyd was killed on May 25, 2020 after a police officer knelt on his neck for nine minutes during an arrest. His death sparked nationwide and international protests against police brutality toward Blacks. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted on three charges of murder and manslaughter connected to Floyd's death on April 20.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) was the only Republican member of the Senate to post a message on the subject to Twitter.
"Today marks the 1 year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder - a terrible tragedy that should never happen to anyone in America," he wrote. "Let us recommit to working together to address racial disparities & promote stronger communities that treat each other with dignity & respect."
Portman has notably announced that he is retiring from the Senate at the end of his current term in 2022.
South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace also spoke out to mark the grim anniversary. "One year ago, George Floyd was murdered," she tweeted. "His death exposed undeniable problems with our justice system, ones we're still struggling to rectify."
Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida posted a tweet on Tuesday as well, but largely focused on attacking the idea of "defunding the police" and asserted that "America is not a systematically racist nation."
"Since the passing of George Floyd, our nation has seen both trials & tribulations but also promising progress," he wrote. "Progress is not defunding the police; it is bettering the community & police relationship. Progress is not looting or destroying neighborhoods in the name of justice."
Neither Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell nor House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy issued statements on the matter. Both men tweeted about other subjects on Tuesday, however, with McConnell criticizing the Biden administration for the planned withdrawal from Afghanistan, while McCarthy complained about "Biden's Border Crisis."
President Joe Biden, meanwhile, invited the Floyd family to the White House on Tuesday and discussed with them his intention to sign the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a criminal justice bill that aims to reform some aspects of policing by banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants, limiting militarization of police forces across the country, and making it easier to investigate and prosecute officers involved in "reckless" incidents, among other things.
The president also posted a tweet on the subject, writing, "It's been one year since George Floyd was murdered. In that time, George’s family has shown extraordinary courage. Last month's conviction was a step towards justice — but we cannot stop there."
Speaker Nancy Pelosi also met with the family and took note of the meeting.
Many other Democrats in both the House and Senate marked the anniversary with tweets.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Floyd's death "sparked a summer of protest," adding that "we will keep working for meaningful change."
"We can’t bring back George Floyd, but we can work to dismantle systemic racism and fundamentally transform our policing and justice systems," wrote Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) wrote, "George Floyd's life mattered. Let's honor it with action — organizing to end police brutality."
House Democrats have twice passed the Floyd Act to reform policing. Both votes received almost no Republican support, with the 2020 bill only getting three Republican votes, while the 2021 version of the bill only received one Republican vote.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.