Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) compared himself to George Floyd and Emmett Till, a teenage victim of lynching in the Jim Crow South, during Virginia’s live Democratic gubernatorial primary debate on Tuesday night.
Responding to a question about how to address racism in policing following the police killing of Floyd in Minneapolis last May, Fairfax argued that his political rivals had subjected him to the same racist refusal to grant Black men due process that Floyd and Till died from.
Two women accused Fairfax of sexual assault in February 2019 just as Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) faced pressure to resign over revelations that he had worn blackface three decades earlier.
Fairfax has consistently denied the allegations of assault.
On Tuesday night, he went a step further, accusing his four rivals for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination of engaging in a racist rush to judgment. He singled out former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), the front-runner in the June 8 Democratic primary, for criticism.
“Everyone here on the stage called for my immediate resignation, including Terry McAuliffe, three minutes after a press release came out,” Fairfax said. “He treated me like George Floyd. He treated me like Emmett Till. No due process, immediately assumed my guilt. ”
“I have a son and I have a daughter,” Fairfax added. “I never want my daughter to be assaulted. I don’t want my son to be falsely accused.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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