The following article contains editorial content written by a current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today
PETERSBURG, VA – During the state of Virginia’s recent Democratic gubernatorial debate, Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax likened his plight when dealing with sexual assault allegations from 2019 to that of being treated as though he were Emmett Till or George Floyd.
Minus you being alive. And 'believe women' 🙄👉Va. Lt. Gov. Fairfax says he was treated like George Floyd, Emmett Till over sexual assault allegations https://t.co/K7t3KexOUh
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) April 7, 2021
On April 6th, Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial debate took place at Virginia State University in Petersburg. As the hour-long televised debate neared its end, Fairfax was answering a question with regard to envisioning the future of policing.
During said delivered answer, Fairfax segued into highlighting the death of George Floyd and correlating that incident to being emblematic to the alleged predicament suffered by black Americans when dealing with police:
“The murder of George Floyd was horrific. But it recalls a history in Virginia and in our nation where African Americans, in particular 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.”
While Fairfax’s characterization of the death of George Floyd is pretty run-of-the-mill in terms of modern day politi-speak, he then latched on to the mentioning of “no due process” to then correlate that to allegations that were brought against him back in 2019.
For those unaware of these 2019 allegations that were lodged against Fairfax, a woman by the name of Meredith Watson alleged that Fairfax had raped her while they were attending Duke University together in 2000.
Another woman, Vanessa Tyson, alleged that Fairfax had forced her to perform oral sex on him while they were at the Democratic National Convention in Boston back in 2004.
Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters? Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you. Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories. Click to check it out.
When Fairfax raised these past allegations against him, he claimed that those who called for his immediate resignation following the then-unsubstantiated allegations was tantamount to him being treated like Emmett Till and George Floyd:
“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.
I have a son and a daughter. I don’t ever want my daughter to be assaulted, I don’t want my son to be falsely accused. And yet this is the real world that we live in.”
While Fairfax did genuinely endure some harsh scrutiny and criticism when those allegations surfaced back in 2019, which included folks flailing their proverbial pitchforks and calling for his resignation, it probably would have been more tactful to just characterize that experience as being devoid of “due process” and leave it at that.
In a legal sense, the verdict isn’t out yet on whether George Floyd simply died, or he was killed by Derek Chauvin.
But even acknowledging that ambiguity regarding that case, it’s simply not smart to compare one’s dealing with frivolous allegations of sexual assaults to that of someone that many believe to have been unjustly murdered.
Even if one were to completely ignore his self-comparison to George Floyd, Fairfax did have the audacity to proclaim that he was treated like Emmett Till.
I cannot believe Justin Fairfax compared his sexual assault allegations (unprompted, mind you) to Emmet Till and George Floyd
— climate doomer and e-bike owner hamms bear (@hamms_son) April 6, 2021
Emmett Till was murdered by two men over an allegation that he whistled at a white woman walking by, and the two men wound up being that woman’s husband and brother. But the manner in which he was murdered was simply horrid.
It was back on August 28th of 1955 in Money, Mississippi when 14-year-old Emmett Till was forced to carry a 75-pound cotton gin fan to the bank of the Tallahatchie River, where he was then instructed to remove his clothing by the two men.
These two men then nearly beat Emmett Till to death, gouged out one of his eyes, and then shot him in the head. His body was then thrown into the Tallahatchie River after his murderers had tied the cotton gin fan to his body.
Hmm. Wouldn't be inclined to a candidate for office who compared Emmett Till to a politician's blacklisting.
— George Levin (@GLevin023) April 7, 2021
So for Fairfax to compare his dealings with false allegations levied against him, even to the point where it spawned calls for his resignation, is completely absurd.
Emmett Till was murdered brutally over a lie. Lt. Governor Fairfax had to engage in political damage control over some false allegations. Those two sets of experiences are not even in the same galaxy of comparable instances.
Furthermore, anyone entering the realm of politics, or looking to move up in the world of, gets their fair share of hit pieces and slander/libel campaigns that attempt to attribute unsavory acts to them.
Fairfax having to navigate around such instances is not a unique experience, and certainly not one comparable to that of a boy who never got to see his 15th birthday because he was murdered solely for being accused of flirting with a white woman in 1955.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.