- "You have to dominate, if you don't dominate you're wasting your time," Trump told governors.
- In Atlanta, two police officers have been fired for excessive use of force during the protests.
- Police in several other cities joined demonstrators in peaceful protest.
The protests over the death of George Floyd continue, with more of them turning violent. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has called on state governors to take charge. Despite night curfews being enacted in 40 cities, tens of thousands of protesters ignored them and filled the streets across the country.
“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. You have to dominate,” the President told governors. “You’ve got to arrest these people. You’ve got arrest these people — and you’ve got to charge them.”
Trump went on, “and you can’t do this deal where they get one week in jail. These are terrorists, these are terrorists, they’re looking to do bad things to our country. They’re Antifa and they’re radical left.”
Clashes between protesters, rioters, and the police have become a common scene. The National Guard was deployed in around 15 states. Four people have been killed and several others injured during the protests so far.
In Atlanta, two police officers have been fired for excessive use of force during the protests. The mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, said that the decision was reached at after a review of the body camera footage of the officers. “Use of excessive force is never acceptable,” the mayor said.
Despite the bad image of the police officers created during the protests, some of them are joining protesters in solidarity. In Santa Cruz, California, police officers were seen kneeling in a peaceful demonstration with protesters. A police officer in North Dakota was seen helping the protesters to hold up their signs, while in South Texas, the police officers gave out boxes of pizza.
The protesters once again gathered outside the White House, where some threw stones at riot officers and set fires in nearby properties. St. John’s Episcopal Church, which is also known as the church of the presidents, was not spared. In Philadelphia, protesters were seen looting and smashing police cars.
The protests, which began on Monday, the day Floyd was killed, have since spread across US cities, and has been characterized by a lot of violence. The protesters, who chanted “no justice, no peace,” carried placards that said “He said I can’t breathe. Justice for George.” More than 4,000 people have so far been arrested across the cities since the protests began.
The death of Floyd has sparked outrage from all quarters, and ignited anger over police killings of black Americans. The head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat , condemned the murder, saying that his organization rejects the discrimination against blacks in the US. A number of US embassies in Africa have also condemned the murder and called for justice.
Bridgett Floyd, George Floyd’s sister, said all four officers should face murder charges. “They murdered my brother. He was crying for help,” Bridgett said. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, on his part, called the incident “a tragic reminder that this was not an isolated incident, but a part of an ingrained systematic cycle of injustice that still exists in this country.”
In a horrifying video, Chauvin, pinned Floyd down with his knee as he lay on the ground during an arrest. The video footage was taken by a witness and was sent on social media. It showed Floyd helpless, asking the police not to kill him. Floyd said several times, “I can’t breathe!”
The officer is then heard telling him to relax he continues to pin him down. “My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts,” Floyd cries out. “[I need] water or something. Please. Please. I can’t breathe, officer. . . I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe.” In the footage witnesses are heard pleading with the police to let go the man but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
The officer, Derek Chauvin was arrested on Friday and charged with third degree murder and manslaughter. All the officers involved in Floyd’s arrest were fired on May 26.