Utah Sen. Mitt Romney joined a group of protesters Sunday near the White House, becoming the latest politician to rally in the wake of the death of George Floyd and one of the most prominent Republicans.
While marching, Romney told an NBC reporter, "We need a voice against racism. We need many voices against racism and against brutality. We need to stand up and say that black lives matter."
The former Republican presidential candidate reiterated those comments to a Washington Post reporter. He also tweeted two pictures of himself, wearing a mask, at the protest. One shows him walking with the protesters. The other is a selfie. The photos are captioned, "Black Lives Matter."
NBC and The Washington Post reported the protest Romney joined was a march of nearly 1,000 Christians near the White House.
Other lawmakers, including Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, have also recently joined protests against racial inequality and police brutality following the death of Floyd on Memorial Day in Minneapolis.
While Romney is not the first Republican to join a protest — Texas Rep. Will Hurd, for example, marched in Houston on Tuesday — his participation garnered immediate praise from Democrats.
California Rep. Eric Swalwell thanked Romney for being at the protest.
"We haven’t seen a lot of GOP courage in 2020, but you have consistently shown it," he tweeted.
Harris tweeted video of Romney at the protest and said, "We need more of this."
Floyd died while in police custody. Four now-fired officers have been charged in connection to his death after Derek Chauvin, who has been charged with second-degree murder, pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes after responding to a call regarding an alleged counterfeit $20 bill.
The three other former officers have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder. A county medical examiner and an independent autopsy commissioned by Floyd's family ruled Floyd's death a homicide.
Floyd's death has sparked protests nationwide, though some protests have seen violence both from looters and from police officers who have used tear gas and rubber bullets against protesters.
Senate Democrats on Thursday held a moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds — the amount of time Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd's neck.
Romney on May 30 tweeted, "The George Floyd murder is abhorrent." He called for peaceful protests while saying "violence drowns the message of the protestors and mocks the principles of justice."
On Saturday, Romney tweeted a photo of his father participating in a Civil Rights march.
Representatives for Romney did not immediately respond to USA TODAY's requests for comment on Sunday night.