Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) went on CNN on Sunday to talk about former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin being found guilty in the death of George Floyd. During this interview, she went so far as to call Floyd’s death a “lynching” before questioning “how we move forward as a society,” where almost half of Republicans in a poll disagreed with Chauvin being found guilty.
“[T]here has been, you know, so many people who have been spinning what happened to George Floyd and what the ultimate cause of his death was. We now know that it was murder,” Omar said. “And you know, we didn’t need to be told by the jury with that guilty verdict. Many of us saw that video and witnessed a lynching take place.”
“You know, throughout the summer and up to the court hearing, we all thought it was eight minutes and 46 seconds, and we ultimately know that it was more than nine minutes,” she continued. “And I don’t really know how we move forward as a society where there is a particular segment that believes that that is a justifiable thing for a police officer to do and that they should not be held accountable.”
Not stopping there, Omar claimed that the United States has a history of getting entertainment out of “public lynchings.”
“It shouldn’t be that surprising that there are still segments in our society that believe it is justifiable for a black man to be lynched,” she said. “But it’s going to be important for us to confront that reality, to confront our past history, and to find ways to move forward as a society.”
This came days after Omar released a lengthy statement giving her thoughts on Chauvin’s conviction.
“Today’s verdict is a major step on the path towards justice and accountability,” she said. “I thank our incredible Attorney General Keith Ellison and the prosecution team, who successfully prosecuted a law enforcement homicide—notoriously difficult cases to successfully prosecute and held a murderer accountable on all charges.”
“While today’s conviction is a necessary condition of justice, it is not sufficient,” Omar added. “For centuries, Black people have faced violence at the hands of the state in our country. For centuries, systemic inequalities in the form of housing, income, education, and criminal justice have plagued our country—holding us back from our creed of liberty and justice for all. Let this be a turning point, where we finally create a society that reflects the belief that all men and women are created equal. Let this be the moment where we implement a broad anti-racist agenda to root out the inequalities that continue to plague us.
“That is what drove Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement. It is what motivated nonviolent movements from South Africa to South Asia to the American South,” she concluded. “It is what drives the Black Lives Matter movement today. And it is what must drive our elected leaders.”