Mass protests and violent clashes between police officers and citizens abound across the U.S. in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Monday. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has decried media coverage of the continued unrest, attacking outlets via social media and claiming that they have negatively contributed to the ongoing violence.
In a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday morning, the president opined that coverage has been skewed by “truly bad people with a sick agenda.”
Trump wrote, “The Lamestream Media is doing everything within their power to foment hatred and anarchy. As long as everybody understands what they are doing, that they are FAKE NEWS and truly bad people with a sick agenda, we can easily work through them to GREATNESS!”
Trump’s tweet inspired pointed responses from a variety of viewpoints. Some replies took aim at a previous tweet where Trump threatened protesters with “the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen.” Meanwhile, others wrote in support of the president and denounced protesters as criminals.
Protesting began in Minneapolis on May 26 after video footage of the incident that led to Floyd’s death went viral on social media. That footage showed a white MPD officer, Derek Chauvin, pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. As he did so, Floyd, who is black, called for help, asked for Chauvin not to kill him, and stated that he couldn’t breathe. Nevertheless, Chauvin continued to kneel on Floyd, even after he became unresponsive. The 46-year-old was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Although protests were initially peaceful, some later became violent, with stores being looted and other buildings and vehicles being defaced and/or damaged by crowds and even set ablaze in some cases. Meanwhile, some footage taken at protest sites appeared to show acts of violence being committed by police officers and others showing opposition toward demonstrators.
Multiple videos circulating on Twitter over the weekend showed two New York Police Department vehicles driving through a crowd of defenseless protesters.
Despite the violence occurring around the country, the president has diverted at least some of his attention toward the media as opposed to the events that are being covered and the issues that have motivated protesters. He has also been accused by some of the taunting protesters and potentially making the situation worse.
As reported by The Inquisitr, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms made that very claim during an appearance on CNN’s Face the Nation on Sunday.
“He speaks and he makes it worse. There 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.”