WATCH: Mike Pence Says the Church is the Right Place to Start Conversations Over George Floyd’s Death as He Joins Pastor Harry Jackson for Listening Session on Racial Unity

Vice President Mike Pence speaks with Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland. | YouTube/The White House via screenshot

Vice President Mike Pence joined Bishop Harry Jackson for a listening session with community and faith leaders on Friday, where he said the church is the right place to address the nation’s response to the death of George Floyd and the protests over racism that followed.

“I couldn’t help but feel that as our nation reels from the tragic death of George Floyd, that a place to start a conversation is a place of worship,” Pence said at the listening session held at Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland, where Jackson is a senior pastor.

“It’s the wellspring of our nation’s strength,” Pence continued, speaking to a select group of black and minority leaders representing churches, businesses, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations. “It’s been the wellspring of our national unity and our steady march toward a more perfect union.”

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on May 25 while he was handcuffed and on the ground restrained by three officers in Minneapolis. A cellphone video taken at the scene showed former police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes as other officers held on to his back and feet. Floyd had refused to get into the squad car, “stiffened up, fell to the ground, and told the officers he was claustrophobic,” according to details in a criminal complaint against Chauvin.

Officer Thomas Lane had asked Chauvin whether they should roll Floyd on his side after he said he was struggling to breathe. The final time Lane asked that question, concerned Floyd was experiencing “excited delirium” from intoxicants, Floyd was already unresponsive and had stopped moving.

Floyd, who had moved to Minnesota to start a new life following a felony conviction for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon in Texas, was arrested on Memorial Day for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill at Cup Foods convenience store to purchase cigarettes. The clerk had called 911 to report the crime and said Floyd was intoxicated.

Nationwide, people came together in agreement that officer Chauvin had used excessive force and that his actions led to Floyd’s death.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar