At a roundtable event at the White House on Friday, Donald Trump claimed to have spoken with the family of George Floyd, a man who was allegedly killed at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, CNN reported.
“I want to express our nation’s deepest condolences and most heartfelt sympathies to the family of George Floyd,” Trump said. “I spoke to members of the family — terrific people.”
As reported by Breitbart, Trump expressed support for the right of Americans to protest but urged against rioting and looting, According to Trump, people engaging in robbery are doing a “disservice” to Minnesota.
“We can’t allow a situation like happened in Minneapolis to descend further into lawless anarchy and chaos,” he said.
The president also addressed his recent comment on Twitter — “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” — and said he was unaware it originated from Miami police chief Walter Headley in 1967, a man who supported segregation. After Trump’s comment, Twitter tagged the tweet with a label that notified users that it violated its rules against glorifying violence.
According to conservative columnist Max Boot, Trump’s use of Headley’s comment is part of his employment of the Southern Strategy, a tactic of appealing to racism against African Americans to gain political support.
Trump claimed that he is working to investigate Floyd’s death with the help of the Department of Justice (DOJ), local law enforcement, and White House officials.
“Hopefully everything can be fairly taken care of. I understand the hurt, I understand the pain, people have really been through a lot. The family of George is entitled to justice, and the people of Minnesota are entitled to live in safety.”
As The Inquisitr reported, the DOJ previously claimed that the investigation into Floyd’s death is a high priority and will determine whether the Minneapolis Police Department officers violated federal law.
When pressed on whether the United States has a police brutality problem, Trump claimed crime in the country is declining and suggested most Americans would agree that the majority of police officers are “outstanding.”
Per CNN, Chauvin, the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck until he was unresponsive, was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Floyd’s family and their attorney, Benjamin Crump, are allegedly angry that he was not charged with a more severe offense for Floyd’s death. Floyd died after Chauvin placed his knee on his neck for over 8 minutes and ignored Floyd’s pleas for help.
According to CNN analysts, third-degree murder could carry a sentence of up to 25 years and a $40,000 fine.