‘Hopefully, George Floyd is looking down right now…’: Donald Trump sparks controversy
US President Donald Trump sparked controversy on Friday, calling it a “great day” for George Floyd, the man whose death in custody on May 25 unleashed nationwide protests over police brutality against African Americans.
In a televised address, Trump said, “We all saw what happened last week. We can’t let that happen”.
“Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying, ‘This is a great thing that’s happening for our country”, the President added.
Twelve hours later, the president tweeted a video of Candace Owens, a young black supporter who has questioned Mr. Floyd’s fitness as a “martyr” for the protests. “George Floyd was not a good person,” Ms. Owens said in that video. “I don’t care who wants to spin that.”
Democrats, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, were among those who immediately criticized the president’s earlier remarks.
“George Floyd’s last words — ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe’ — have echoed all across this nation and, quite frankly, around the world,” Mr. Biden said. “For the president to try to put any other words in the mouth of George Floyd I, frankly, think is despicable.”
Since Floyd’s May 25 death and subsequent protests, which have included rioting and looting in many US cities, Trump has favored a military response.
Presenting himself as a “law and order” president, Trump has threatened to send the US military into the streets to quell the ongoing demonstrations.
Trump reiterated on Friday that authorities need to “dominate the streets,” and criticized governors in states that had rejected sending in the National Guard during protests and rioting.
“What you now see… is the greatest thing that can happen for race relations, for the African American community, for the Asian American, for the Hispanic American, for women, for everything,” Trump said Friday.