CNN host Don Lemon wondered why U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders in the country have not called for calm. The comments came Saturday night amid the protests and riots that have erupted across the United States in the wake of George Floyd’s death after being restrained by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
“‘I am waiting for a call for calm… from the leadership in this country. Where is it?’ @DonLemon asks on @CNN,” tweeted CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter.
While many agreed with the sentiment, others pointed out that earlier today, Trump addressed Floyd’s death and said that it should not have happened. Some Twitter users also posted the video that the White House tweeted of Trump giving remarks from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In it, the president noted that the country needed healing and not chaos.
"The death of George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis was a grave tragedy. It should never have happened. It has filled Americans all over the country with horror, anger, and grief." pic.twitter.com/lirAMSv4Wo
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 30, 2020
Other people on the social media network called for former President Barack Obama to give a speech in an effort to ease tensions and calm the country. Obama has spoken out about Floyd’s death in a statement, but he has not given a speech.
However, late Saturday evening, the president took to Twitter to criticize the mayor of Minneapolis and announce a show of force instead of promoting calm.
“The National Guard has been released in Minneapolis to do the job that the Democrat Mayor couldn’t do. Should have been used 2 days ago & there would not have been damage & Police Headquarters would not have been taken over & ruined. Great job by the National Guard. No games!”
Accounts that responded to Trump’s tweet begged the president to stop stoking the fires and hatred, while others placed the blame for the riots entirely on him. Some users also noted that each state is in charge of its National Guard.
The president also implored New York to let its police force do its job in another tweet shortly after the one insulting Mayor Jacob Frey. Not long before Trump tweeted about New York, a video circulated that showed NYPD SUVs slamming into a crowd of protesters that blocked them near the Barclays Center arena. NBC News reported that at least one person jumped onto the vehicle’s roof while others threw things. It is unclear how many, if any, of the protesters were hurt during the incident.
New York City’s Finest mowing down crowds of protestors with their police SUVs is not called doing their job. It’s called being unimaginably violent and inhumane. pic.twitter.com/Fd9cQB8Bxd
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) May 31, 2020
Throughout the U.S., at least five states, including Texas, Washington, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin, have activated National Guard troops to help control the riots resulting from the protests.