Martin Luther King III told TMZ that while he understands why fellow African Americans feel the need to riot following the death of George Floyd, he cannot condone violence of any kind.
The son of iconic civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., has been looked to as a beacon of morality as the nation was shocked to see the video of Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed African American man, dying.
“When someone else destroyed someone’s life… you can’t bring a life back … I do understand why people have resorted to that level of frustration.”
King said that he understands what prompted the riots, especially of those in Floyd’s hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota, thanks to what has appeared to be a pattern of abuse of power directed toward African Americans.
The civil rights activist also had some criticism for President Donald Trump and his handling of the social minefield that has faced the nation in recent days.
“People are … legitimately frustrated and tired and it doesn’t help when the words that the president chooses to use stoke even more violence.”
King was clear in his interview that while he understands the protests and riots, vandalism, such as setting fire to a police station, isn’t the answer that black Americans who want change should be leaning on.
Protesters in Minneapolis ravaged the city with widespread destruction for days after the video of Floyd’s death caused outrage. The nationwide attention, including from the Department of Justice, culminated with an arrest and murder charge for Derek Chauvin, the officer believed to be responsible for Floyd’s death.
“It’s hard to think about peace when this environment exists,” King said of the violence against African Americans. The civil rights leader quoted his father when he said that “violence is the language of the unheard,” but said that “we need to get police to operate in a different way.”
Riots in Minneapolis have escalated to the point that the governor called in the National Guard to protect citizens and businesses in the most distressed areas, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
King has continued his father’s message after the civil rights leader was assassinated. Like his father, King had a message of hope and direction for those who feel downtrodden by the aggression seen in America today.
“The good will prevail over evil, but we’ve got to find productive ways to assist so that good can prevail over evil,” King said.