Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms appeared on Sunday’s edition of CNN’s State of the Union and spoke to host Jake Tapper about Donald Trump’s comments on the protesters of George Floyd’s death, Raw Story reported.
“He should just stop talking,” she said. “This is like Charlottesville all over again.”
Bottoms was referring to Trump’s threats to protesters, including the use of “ominous weapons” and “vicious dogs.”
“He speaks and he makes it worse. Here are times when you should just be quiet and I wish that he would just be quiet. Or if he can’t be silent, if there is somebody of good sense and good conscience in the White House, put him in front of a teleprompter and pray he reads it and at least says the right things, because he is making it worse.”
As reported by Vox, Trump’s threat echoed law enforcement’s response — releasing canine units to disperse protests — to civil rights protests in the 1960s. The parallel comes just one day after Trump used a phrase first used by Miami police chief Walter Headley, who supported segregation, and later used by infamous former Alabama Gov. George Wallace. Wallace was considered on the extreme right of the political spectrum and threatened to run over demonstrators in 1968.
According to Clarence Lusane of Howard University, Headley may have picked the term up from Eugene “Bull” Connor, Birmingham, Alabama’s segregationist public safety commissioner. Per Vox, Connor used police dogs in his battle with black protesters in the 1960s.
The civil unrest over Floyd’s death — which comes as millions of Americans are out of work amid the coronavirus pandemic — continued Saturday night. Trump threatened military action against the rioters and looters and noted that the federal government was prepared to intervene.
As reported by CBC News, rioters continue to damage American cities, which has led to a total of 1,669 arrests since Thursday.
No group, protestors or civilians, have been anywhere close to as violent and sadistic as the police have been tonight.pic.twitter.com/85p9E3zMps
— Gravel Institute (@GravelInstitute) May 31, 2020
CBC noted that Trump appeared supportive of the stricter tactics against protesters on Saturday night and praised the National Guard deployment in Minneapolis.
“No games!” he tweeted.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden took a more measured approach and did not appear to condemn the protesters, which also drew some criticism.
“The act of protesting should never be allowed to overshadow the reason we protest,” he said in a Saturday statement.
Many incidences of excessive police force amid the riots have been captured and shared on social media. The occurrences have caused a pushback from some, who note that such violence is what sparked the protests of Floyd’s death at the hands of former police officer Derek Chauvin.