Kellyanne Conway: ‘We watched a man be murdered’
Top White House aide Kellyanne Conway said there is “absolutely” institutional racism in the United States and called George Floyd’s death a murder.
“It is absolutely the case that there is institutional racism and that there is a lack of equality for all people in this country. I think that is without doubt,” said Conway, President Trump’s senior counselor, speaking to reporters Tuesday.
“We watched a man be murdered before our eyes on a videotape. As painful as it is to watch, I think most people should bring themselves to watch all eight minutes and 49 seconds or so of George Floyd’s murder. I don’t have another word for it,” Conway said.
Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man, died in police custody last week after a Minneapolis officer pinned him to the ground holding his knee to Floyd’s neck.
“I’m very happy that the Department of Justice has opened up a civil rights investigation at the federal level. We’ll see what comes of that,” Conway said. “What was done to George Floyd was murder.”
Conway said that there was “much to examine and much to improve” in the U.S., including institutional changes she said prior administrations failed to make. “So, we are happy to take that on.”
Asked about efforts on Monday to move demonstrators from Lafayette Park in front of the White House, Conway said plans to expand the perimeter were “already decided” before the White House arranged for Trump to take a photograph holding a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church.
Officers from the U.S. Park Police and other federal agencies used smoke bombs, flash-bang grenades, and riot shields to disperse the group that had gathered there since Friday to protest and riot. The move was ordered by Attorney General William Barr, a Justice Department official told the Washington Post.