On Friday (May 29), Donald Trump said he spoke to the family of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was killed by police after a Minneapolis cop knelt on his neck for nine minutes earlier this week.
"I want to express our nation's deepest condolences and most heartfelt sympathies to the family of George Floyd," the president said during a roundtable event at the White House. "I spoke to members of the family -- terrific people."
Trump was reportedly supposed to spend a significant portion of an earlier appearance in the Rose Garden on Friday, but after announcing actions against China and the World Health Organization, he walked away without taking press questions.
Trump has faced heavy backlash over numerous tweet rants about protesters across the country, particularly a Thursday tweet he made, writing, "Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!"
During Friday's roundtable event, Trump denied knowing the origins of the phrase "when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” saying he has heard the phrase "for a long time.”
Earlier this morning (May 30), Trump drew more criticism for gleefully relaying what Secret Service agents allegedly told him about the possibility of siking “vicious” dogs on protesters outside of the White House.
“I was inside, watched every move, and couldn’t have felt more safe,” he wrote of the protesters. “They let the ‘protesters’ scream & rant as much as they wanted, but whenever someone have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least. Many Secret Service agents just waiting for action. ‘We put the young ones on the front line, sir, they love it, and good practice.”
Great job last night at the White House by the U.S. @SecretService. They were not only totally professional, but very cool. I was inside, watched every move, and couldn’t have felt more safe. They let the “protesters” scream & rant as much as they wanted, but whenever someone....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2020
....good practice.” As you saw last night, they were very cool & very professional. Never let it get out of hand. Thank you! On the bad side, the D.C. Mayor, @MurielBowser, who is always looking for money & help, wouldn’t let the D.C. Police get involved. “Not their job.” Nice!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2020
Releasing dogs on Black people, once again, harkens from a dark period of the civil rights movement when thousands of African Americans were mangled by police dogs during peaceful protests.
Derek Chauvin, the fired police officer who pinned Floyd down with his knee for nine minutes, causing his death, has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. His bond has been set at $500,000 and his wife has reportedly filed for divorce.
The other three officers seen in the video of the fatal encounter Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng were all fired but have yet to be charged.
From Los Angeles and Atlanta to New York and Detroit, demonstrators have taken to the streets to express their frustration over the lack of police accountability and calling for reforms.
BET has been covering every angle of George Floyd’s death by police and the subsequent aftermath. For our continuing coverage of the protests nationwide, click here.
Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images