Lt. Gov. Fairfax defends debate comparison to Emmett Till, George Floyd

Justin Fairfax
Justin Fairfax
Updated: Apr. 13, 2021 at 9:10 AM EDT
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RICHMOND Va. (WVIR) - Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax is standing by the comparison he made of sexual assault allegations against him to the deaths of George Floyd and Emmett Till.

The candidate made the remarks at the first debate between Democrats running for governor.

“Taking away someone’s livelihood, someone’s reputation, someone’s life, these are all awful things that can occur when we don’t simply take the time to stand back and say, ‘we have to have due process, we have to have an ability to investigate to get to the truth,’ and we have to make sure that we’re not repeating, over the course of time, those things that have harmed so many people,” the lieutenant governor said.

Fairfax denies the sexual assault allegations against him and says there are other cases both in Virginia and across the country when society rushed to condemn without due process.

“Including the Rolling Stone’s UVA case where, fortunately, no one died, but it was an incredibly serious situation with incredibly serious consequences and we find out that the accusations were false. What [we] are seeing is that regardless of the situation or circumstances, it is never good to have a rush to judgement. It is never good to assume guilt,” Fairfax said.

Fairfax also discussed his COVID-19 economic recovery plan, where he called for at least a one-year extension of the eviction moratorium and continued support for families once it is lifted.

“We need legislation at the state level to have other payment options to be able to have people either tack that debt onto the back end of a mortgage - which is a program many banks have offered to people - but we need to make that consistent and across the board. Also, the ability to amortize that debt over a longer period of time so that people will have the ability to get back on their feet,” he said.

Many small businesses across Virginia have had to either close their doors for good or struggle to remain open. Fairfax wants to provide access to grants and no interest loans as well as reduce barriers they face.

“We should look at easing regulatory requirements for many of them, typically those that have been in existence and compliant for so long. We also need to look at easing tax burdens for some of these small businesses,” Fairfax said.

Lt. Gov. Fairfax also said he’s proud to have cast the tie-breaking vote moving up marijuana legalization to this July.

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