For most people, the use of tear-gas and other aggressive tactics on Minneapolis protesters was contemptible. For US president Donald Trump, it was a ‘beautiful scene’.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death, immediate Black Lives Matter protests emerged in Minneapolis, sparking ‘three nights of hell’ in the eyes of Donald Trump. When looting and riots broke out, with the local police precinct ‘essentially burned down’, he sent in the National Guard.
During a recent event in Dallas, Texas, the president discussed his admiration of the troops as they cut through protesters ‘like a knife cutting butter’, using tear-gas and ‘other things’ like rubber bullets.
You can listen to Trump’s comments in the Fox News clip below:
His comments come after a veto-proof majority of Minneapolis City Council members officially announced their commitment to disband the current police department and ‘create a new transformative model of public safety’. Trump said ‘that’s not happening with us, we’re going to have stronger police forces because that’s what you need’.
Commenting on the deployment of the National Guard, the president said:
It was like a miracle. Just everything stopped. I’ll never forget the scene, it’s not supposed to be a beautiful scene but to me it was. After you watch policemen run out of a police precinct. And it wasn’t their fault, they wanted to do what they had to do but they weren’t allowed to do anything.
And yes there was some tear gas and probably some other things. And the crowd dispersed and they went through. By the end of the evening… everything was fine and you didn’t hear about that location having problems anymore.
Later, Trump accused the Black Lives Matter movement of portraying ‘decent Americans’ as ‘racists or bigots’, as well as endorsing national police forces’ use of ‘compassion with force’.
It’s just one in a long line of questionable comments by the president. Earlier this week, Trump accused 75-year-old Martin Gugino, a peaceful protester pushed to the ground by Buffalo police, of being an ‘ANTIFA provocateur’ – a theory straight from far-right ‘news’ outlet One America News Network.
In another trademark White House speech, Trump said he hoped Floyd was ‘looking down’ on the US as the economy begins to recover. ‘It’s a great day for him. It’s a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of quality,’ he said.
Tear-gas was also recently used to clear protesters in front of a church so Trump could take a photograph outside holding a Bible, a move that was strongly condemned by the bishop of the diocese.
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