Massive protests rip across the country after George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man, died in Minneapolis after being pinned to the ground by officer Derek Chauvin, who held his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes amid protests from onlookers.
Across the country, some leaders have stepped up to calm the violence. Some have not.
“You’ve got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff again,” Trump said, according to audio of a call with governors.
“I have heard from so many of you that you feel afraid — afraid in your communities, afraid in your daily lives, and, most cruelly of all, afraid in your own skin,” Tim Cook said. “To our colleagues in the Black community — we see you. You matter, your lives matter, and you are valued here at Apple.”
“You have to dominate, if you don’t dominate you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run over you, you’re going to look like a bunch of jerks,” Trump said.
Michigan Sheriff, addressing a crowd at a protest with police officers behind him
He said, “I took my helmet off.” Pointing to his police officers, “They laid down their batons.”
“The only reason we’re here is to make sure that you got a voice — that’s it,” Chris Swanson said. “These cops love you — that cop over there hugs people,” he said, pointing.
When the crowd started chanting “walk with us!” he responded. “Let’s go, let’s go,” he said as he and the cheering crowd proceeded. “Where do you want to walk? We’ll walk all night.”
No violence was reported during the protest walk.
“When they have bricks — you know they come armed with bricks. And they have bricks and rocks, big rocks, and they have other big things, and they throw them. You know, you’re allowed to fight back, folks,” Trump said. “You don’t have to have a brick hit you in the face, and you don’t do anything about it. You are allowed to fight back.”
Tennessee Police Sergeant
For hours, at least 300 protesters had gathered outside a Tennessee courthouse.
“I was sitting a little ways down the street watching what was going on and had seen different people, old and young alike, out here – some with water and some not,” Tommy Ferguson said. “I was getting ready to head back to the station and do some paperwork, and the thermometer in my car said it was 84 degrees outside.
“So I thought I could go ahead and grab a couple of cases of water and just have it available for anyone who needed it.”
He left water on the sidewalk and told the protesters to help themselves.
No violence was reported at the protest.
“You have to arrest those people and you have to try them,” Trump said. “If you don’t dominate your city and your state, they are going to walk away with you.”
“You have to have total domination,” he added.
He said, “We are a community in pain. That is not unique to the Twin Cities—it extends across America. The murder of George Floyd has unleashed the pent-up pain of years, as have the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. We say their names and hold a too-long list of others in our hearts.”
“They let the ‘protesters’ scream and rant as much as they wanted, but whenever someone got too frisky or out of line, they would quickly come down on them, hard – didn’t know what hit them,” Trump said.
“If they had [breached the fence],” the president continued, “they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least.”
Citigroup Chief Financial Officer
“Despite the progress the United States has made, black Americans are too often denied basic privileges that others take for granted,” Mark Mason said. “I am not talking about the privileges of wealth, education or job opportunities. I’m talking about fundamental human and civil rights and the dignity and respect that comes with them. I’m talking about something as mundane as going for a jog.”
Tear gas used at a church so President Trump could talk
The NYTimes reports tear gas was used to disperse the crowd at a church so that President Trump could use it as a backdrop for a photo op.
“He did not pray,” said Mariann Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington who was an outspoken critic of the President’s action. “He did not mention George Floyd, he did not mention the agony of people who have been subjected to this kind of horrific expression of racism and white supremacy for hundreds of years.”
Consider this: Should we stop posting the video of George Floyd’s murder?
Geek out on questions that can help you to self-reflect on racism.