House Republican Leader Statement on George Floyd, Protests, and Recent Events


House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, issued the following statement:

“What happened to George Floyd was inexcusable. Those of us who are not African-American cannot possibly understand the pain felt in that community. But we can see and know that our fellow Virginians are hurting, and they are rightfully angry. Those who march and demand justice are more than justified — they are right.

“The right of the people to peacefully assemble is a bedrock of our American experience. But destroying communities in the name of justice diminishes the efforts taken by those truly committed to building a better way of life.

“For three nights in a row, destructive rioters victimized the very communities they were purporting to help. Black businesses were burned, vandalized, and looted. Those who inflicted this chaos and damage don’t seek meaningful change, they seek only the mayhem that will further divide us as Americans and as human beings. This hijacking of an otherwise righteous demand for respect and change, and the accompanying failures of leadership that have allowed it, are completely unacceptable. Peace and security must be restored.

“It is incumbent upon us all to strive towards a Commonwealth and nation that delivers equal justice to every citizen. We must ensure that the voices who are calling for justice are heard. What happened to George Floyd, and many others, is a tragedy and must never happen again.”