Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax made a few interesting statements during a Democratic gubernatorial debate. During the event, Fairfax was asked how he would improve policing following the death of George Floyd last May. Fairfax decided to respond by including himself and Emmett Till in the answer. The gubernatorial candidate said that his fellow candidates had denied him the same legal process that Floyd and Till died from. He then went on to reference how one of his fellow candidates, former Governor Terry McAuliffe, treated him after he was accused of sexual assault twice in 2019.
“Everyone here on the stage called for my immediate resignation, including Terry McAuliffe, three minutes after a press release came out. He treated me like George Floyd. He treated me like Emmett Till. No due process, immediately assumed my guilt," he said.
“I have a son and I have a daughter. I never want my daughter to be assaulted. I don’t want my son to be falsely accused."
Meredith Watson alleges that Fairfax sexually assaulted her while they were students at Duke University in 2000. Four years later, Vanessa Tyson said that he sexually assaulted her at the Democratic National Convention. Multiple members of state legislature called for him to resign and he was place on leave from his law firm. Fairfax has continued to deny both accusations.
Aside from implementing his own issues into this larger societal issues, Fairfax spoke to the historical implications of Floyd's death.
“The murder of George Floyd was horrific,” he said.
“But it recalls a history in Virginia and in our nation where African Americans ― and particularly African American men ― are presumed to be guilty, are treated inhumanely, are given no due process and have their lives impacted ― in some cases, taken away in an instant.”
The Virginia gubernatorial race will come to a close with the election on November 2.
Photo Credit: Getty Images