- The Washington Times - Monday, June 8, 2020

House and Senate Democrats held a moment in silence Monday on Capitol Hill to honor the lives of George Floyd and other blacks recently killed in the country, ahead of unveiling a sweeping police reform bill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led about two dozen lawmakers in kneeling for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time a white police officer in Minnesota is accused of kneeling on Floyd’s neck before his death. They wore kente cloth scarves, a fabric members of the Congressional Black Caucus often wear.

The deaths of Mr. Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, who were all black, have ignited unrest and protests across the country and fueled a renewed debate about racial tensions and police accountability.

Derek Chauvin, the now-fired Minnesota police officer who knelt on Mr. Floyd’s neck during a May 25 arrest, was charged with second-degree murder Wednesday when Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison raised the degree of the initial third-degree murder charge.

The other former officers on the scene — Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao — were also charged Wednesday with aiding and abetting murder and aiding and abetting manslaughter.

Ms. Taylor, an EMT, was shot multiple times after police officers entered her Louisville apartment with a no-knock search warrant in March, sparking an FBI investigation.

The department claims plainclothes officers identified themselves and opened fire after Ms. Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker shot first. Charges were ultimately dropped against Mr. Walker, who argued he and Ms. Taylor believed they were victims of a home invasion. The officers involved have not been charged.

Mr. Arbery was shot to death in February by two white men who claimed they suspected him of being a burglar they caught on surveillance sometime before. Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael were arrested in early May and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault.

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