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John Lewis praises George Floyd protesters for getting in 'good trouble'

John Lewis praises George Floyd protesters for getting in 'good trouble'
© Greg Nash

Rep. John LewisJohn LewisProgressives put Democrats on defense Democrats face mounting hurdles to agenda Democrats see opportunity as states push new voting rules MORE (D-Ga.), a civil rights icon and former confidant of Martin Luther King Jr., on Thursday offered praise to those participating in the nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd.

“It was very moving to see hundreds of thousands of people from all over America and around the world take to the streets to speak up, to speak out, to get into what I call ‘good trouble,’ or to get in the way,” Lewis said on CBS’s “This Morning,” referencing a phrase he frequently uses in reference to political activism. “And because of the action of young and old, black, white, Latino, Asian-American and Native Americans ... because people cried and prayed, people would never forget what happened, and how it happened.”

“The way this young man died, watching the video, it made me so sad,” Lewis said of footage of Floyd’s death. “It was so painful. It made me cry. I kept saying to myself, how many more? How many more young black men will be murdered? The madness must stop."

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The Georgia congressman added, “It is my hope that we are on the way to greater change.”

Floyd died in police custody last week after a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for several minutes as Floyd could be heard saying he was unable to breathe.

Lewis released a statement on the protests over the weekend as well, urging the continuation of peaceful protests and against the looting and property damage that erupted in some cities. "I see you, and I hear you. I know your pain, your rage, your sense of despair and hopelessness," he said. "Justice has, indeed, been denied for far too long. Rioting, looting, and burning is not the way. Organize. Demonstrate. Sit-in. Stand up. Vote."