As widespread protests raged across the United States, President Donald Trump on Monday said his administration is fully committed to provide justice to George Floyd and his family but maintained that violence will not be tolerated.
Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old man, died in Minneapolis on May 25 after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, held him down with a knee on his neck though he repeatedly pleaded, “I can’t breathe”, and “please, I can’t breathe”.
All four police officers involved in the incident have been fired, and Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Speaking at the White House, Trump said that Floyd’s memory must not be “drowned out by an angry mob” and added that he has “strongly recommended” to every Governor to deploy the national guard in sufficient numbers to dominate the streets until the violence has been quelled.
“The administration is fully committed that for George and his family, justice will be served. But can’t allow righteous cries and peaceful protesters to be drowned out by angry mob. The biggest victims of rioting are peace-loving citizens in our poorest communities and as the President I will fight to keep them safe,” Trump said.
“In recent days our nation has been gripped by professional anarchists, violent mobs, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, Antifa and others,” the US President added.
Calling the violence in Washington D.C. on Sunday night “a total disgrace”, Trump said he was “dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement offices to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism assaults and the wanton destruction of property”.
“If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the US military and quickly solve the problem for them,” he said.
Speaking to the media on Monday at the White House, Trump said “I am your President of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protests”, but was “taking immediate presidential action to stop the violence and restore security and safety in America” because the country needed “cooperation not contempt, security not anarchy, healing not hatred, justice not chaos”.
“I am mobilizing all available, federal resources, civilian and military, to stop the rioting and looting to end the destruction and arson and to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans,” he said.
His remarks came as some 40 cities across the US, including Washington D.C., have imposed curfews to curb acts of violence in extensive demonstrations against police brutality and racism.
Trump said the government was putting everybody on warning that seven o’clock curfew will be strictly enforced and vowed to arrest and prosecute those “who threatened innocent life and property”.
“I want the organisers of this terror to be on notice that you will face severe criminal penalties and lengthy sentences in jail.”
At the end of his speech, Donald Trump said he would go to “pay my respects to a very, very special place”.
As Trump vowed a massive show of force to end violent protests over the death of George Floyd, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse peaceful demonstrators near the White House.
As the police action against protesters gave him safe passage, the President walked out of the White House across Lafayette Square to St. John’s Episcopal Church that was damaged in fire amid protests on Sunday.
On Friday night, as hundreds of protesters, raged by the death of George Floyd, gathered outside the White House, US President Donald Trump was briefly taken to an underground bunker.
The shocking videotaped death last Monday of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, at the hands of police in Minneapolis has ignited the nationwide wave of outrage over law enforcement’s repeated use of lethal force against unarmed African Americans.