Virginia Republican state Sen. Amanda Chase is no stranger to making provocative statements, and comments she made this week related to the Derek Chauvin murder trial have once again stirred up controversy.
Chauvin is the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck for what authorities say was 9 1/2 minutes during an arrest last year, including several minutes after Floyd stopped breathing. The arrest was captured on cellphone video and prompted nationwide protests.
“I am so concerned about our law enforcement right now quitting. You should be too,” Chase told a crowd in King William County, which is east of Richmond.
Chase, one of seven Republicans running for governor in Virginia, elaborated on her remarks, telling news outlets that she believed the Chauvin jury made its decision largely to “prevent civil unrest” rather than to serve justice.
During the campaign stop, Chase described herself as being “Trump in heels” and repeated the baseless claim that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen.”
In January, the Virginia Senate voted to censure Chase over a “pattern of unacceptable conduct,” including remarks in which she seemed to voice support for those who participated in the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol in January.
Chase had used a floor speech to defend Ashli Babbitt, a woman who was fatally shot by U.S. Capitol Police during the riot.
“We remember Ashli, and the three who died of medical emergencies and the Capitol Police officer who died during the chaos at the Capitol. These were not rioters and looters, these were patriots who love their country and do not want to see our great republic turned into a socialist country,” she said at the time, sparking an outrage.
Chase later said that when she referred to “patriots,” she meant people who attended a nonviolent rally hosted by former President Donald Trump near the White House before the riot broke out.
Chase herself is one of many state lawmakers from around the country who attended the rally, but she was not part of the group that stormed the building.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.