Pelosi meant to refer to Floyd, who died in police custody last month and whose death sparked calls for reforms to policing across the country. George Kirby was a black comedian and singer who died in 1995.
Pelosi was speaking to reporters and said Floyd’s brother asked her if the Democrats’ police reform bill would be named after George Floyd, and she told him at the time that she would recommend to the Judiciary Committee and the Congressional Black Caucus.
“And I said ‘I’ll recommend that to the Judiciary Committee and to the Congressional Black Caucus who have shaped the bill, but I only will do that if you tell me that this legislation is worthy of George Kirby’s name,’ and he said it is, and so we’re very proud, we’re very proud to carry that,” she said.
It isn’t the only Floyd-related misspeak by Democrats. On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer referred to “Floyd Taylor” — accidentally putting together the names of Floyd and Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police earlier this year in Kentucky. He immediately clarified the remark.
The House on Thursday passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act that would outlaw chokeholds, reform qualified immunity that can protect police officers from civil lawsuits, create a national database of police conduct and lower the bar for police officers to face criminal prosecution. It is unlikely to pass in the Senate.
But it came a day after a GOP bill authored by Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., failed in the Senate after it was blocked by Democrats in the chamber from even being debated, for not going as far on issues such as limiting chokeholds. That move infuriated Republicans who accused Democrats of putting politics over policy.
“They cannot allow this party to be seen as a party that reaches out to all communities in this nation,” Scott said.
On Friday, the Pelosi gaffe was quickly highlighted by Republicans, who again accused Democrats of blocking police reform efforts.
“So Nancy Pelosi referred to George Floyd as ‘George Kirby’ and Chuck Schumer called him ‘Floyd Taylor’ and ‘George Taylor,'” Matt Wolking, Deputy Director of Communications at the Trump campaign, tweeted.
“These are the people blocking police accountability legislation,” he said.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.