Fairfax: McAuliffe Treated Me Like George Floyd, Emmett Till After Sex Assault Allegations Virginia Lieutenant Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) speaks during a news conference on June 4, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia. (Zach Gibson/Getty)
By Elizabeth Stauffer | Wednesday, 07 April 2021 12:30 PM
Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax during a Tuesday Democratic gubernatorial primary debate said former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe treated him like George Floyd and Emmett Till over sexual assault allegations in 2019.
McAuliffe was one of numerous lawmakers that called on Fairfax to resign after two women accused him of sexual assault.
"We can't just talk theoretically about what generally happens, but we have a real-world example where I was falsely accused in 2019," said Fairfax, who is Black.
"Everyone here on the stage called for my immediate resignation, including Terry McAuliffe. … He treated me like George Floyd. He treated me like Emmett Till — no due process, immediately assumed my guilt."
"The murder of George Floyd was horrific," Fairfax added. "It recalls a history in Virginia and in our nation where African Americans, particularly African American men, are presumed to be guilty, are treated inhumanely, are given no due process. I have a son and a daughter. I never want my daughter to be assaulted. I don't want a son to be falsely accused. And yet, this is the real world that we live in."
Till, a 14-year-old Black boy, was lynched in 1955 in Mississippi. Floyd died in 2020 while in police custody.
CNN reports that Fairfax's remark came after "a question about policing" and the current trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death.
"The murders of Emmett Till and George Floyd were traumatic and triggering for generations of Black people," noted McAuliffe.
"The Lt. Gov's comparison was shocking, unseemly, and insensitive."
The first woman to accuse Fairfax of sexual assault was college professor Vanessa Tyson. According to The Washington Examiner, the alleged assault occurred at a hotel during the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.
Meredith Watson said Fairfax raped her while they were students at Duke University in 2000.
Shortly after the allegations were made, Fairfax issued a statement calling for "an assessment by professional law enforcement investigators who have the tools and the training to determine whether or not the allegations are true.”