The death of George Floyd will go down as one of the most tragic cases of police brutality in the history of the world. The incident has incited anger in the hearts of Americans throughout the country, who have emerged in large numbers for public protests. However, Donald Trump addressed the issue in classic Donal Trump fashion, by making a tweet, along the lines of “When the looting starts, the shooting starts”, which Twitter deemed to be “promoting violence”.
George Floyd, a resident of St. Louis Park, a Minneapolis suburb, was arrested on Monday. The Minneapolis Police Department states that the officers responded to a call about a man suspected of forgery. The department says that Floyd was sitting on top of a blue car, and was “under the influence”. It also said that he “resisted arrest” and that is why the police had to resort to more dire methods. However, a video shot by a bystander tells a different story.
In the video, it is visible that George was lying on the ground, with his neck pressed into the ground by the arresting officer’s knee. Video shows him being compliant, and gasping for air while crying “I can’t breathe”.
The incident has led to major public outrage, with protests spurting out in New York, Minneapolis and many other states in America. This is where Donald Trump comes in. The President of the United States made a tweet, which, to put it mildly, wasn’t very “presidential”. In the tweet, he said, “…These thugs are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd , and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control, but when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) May 29, 2020
The leader of the free world making threats of public execution is not a sight you see every day. Twitter was quick to mark the tweet out, but did not delete it, stating that “Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to be accessible.”
The tweet was the second part of a series of tweets addressing the protests, which have taken a violent nature in some parts of the state. The first part reads, “I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right…..”. Twitter has placed a similar tag on this tweet as well.
Twitter and Donald Trump are engaged in a cold war, after Twitter decided to place a “fact checking link” on a tweet made by Donald Trump where he assumed that mail in ballots will lead to unfair results. The President attacked the social media platform, saying that he will either shut down social media platforms like these, or place heavy restrictions on them, at the very least. He later signed an executive order to weaken a law that provides protection to social media companies, fulfilling his threats.