Senior Democratic lawmakers, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, knelt for almost 9 minutes during a moment of silence shortly before unveiling a legislative package of police reforms Monday.
The lawmakers numbering about twenty knelt for eight minutes and 46 seconds as a tribute to George Floyd, the unarmed African American man who died after a now-former Minneapolis police officer pinned his knee on his neck during an arrest for that length of time.
The Lawmakers, who were adorned with colorful Ghanaian kente cloth scarves, knelt in the Capitol Visitor Center before holding a press conference to unveil their legislation in response to almost two weeks of nationwide protests over police brutality toward African Americans.
After almost nine minutes, Pelosi and the other lawmakers stood back up, though the Speaker needed the help of an aide due to her tall stilettos. “You see how long it was to have that knee on his neck,” Pelosi said afterward.