Drawing flak for his insensitive 'when looting starts, shooting starts' tweet, US President Donald Trump backtracked stating that he was not aware of the tweet being racist. The tweet came hours after violent protesters torched down Minneapolis police station during a demonstration against George Floyd's death.
The protests, demanding the arrest of four officers involved in the brutal death of George Floyd, has entered the fourth day. Bowing to the public pressure, Minneapolis arrested the fired police officer Derek Chauvin on Friday. Chauvin was seen in a video kneeling over Floyd and killing him, The ex-officer has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Trump Insists His Tweet Wasn't Meant to be Racial
Calling the protesters 'Thugs', Trump, in a tweet made an hour after midnight on May 29, wrote: "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!"
Moments later, in an unprecedented move, Twitter flagged his tweet for 'glorifying violence'. The micro-blogging site then went on to screen the tweet with a disclaimer.
Hours later, Trump defended his tweet. "It means when there's looting, people get shot and they die. And if you look at what happened last night and the night before you see that it's very common. And that's the way that was meant. But I don't know where it came from, I don't know where it originated,' Trump said during a coronavirus business roundtable.
Trump Urges Protesters to Let Floyd's Memory be Perfect
According to Daily Mail, Trump said: "It's very important that we have peaceful protesters and support the rights for peaceful protesters. We can't allow a situation like what happened in Minneapolis to descend further into lawless anarchy and chaos and we understand that very well."
Calling for the memory of Floyd be perfect, Trump went on to add: "It's very important I believe to the family to everybody that the memory of George Floyd be a perfect memory, let it be a perfect memory. The looters should not be allowed to drown out the voices of so many peaceful protesters. They hurt so badly what is happening and it's so bad for the state and for that great city."
Interestingly, after Twitter flagged Trump's 'shooting' tweet, the same was reposted on the official twitter account of the White House. However, Twitter flagged it again. The White House account even linked a week-old tweet by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei where he called for jihad against Israel. "This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it will allow terrorists, dictators, and foreign propagandists to abuse its platform," the White House tweeted.
Twitterati Enraged over Trump's 'Shooting' Remark
Trump faced widespread criticism for his insensitive tweet. "Dear @realDonaldTrump: You're full of shit. You wrote: "the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts." The "we will assume control" language destroys your attempt to backtrack. Delete your tweet," wrote a user.
"When white Americans show up with semiautomatic rifles at statehouses, Donald Trump encourages them to "liberate" their cities. When Black Americans protest the shooting deaths of unarmed citizens, he calls for them to be shot in their cities," wrote another user.
"If the National Guard shoots crowds of protestors, Trump must be held fully responsible. This is especially the case after he sent out that unhinged tweet last night calling the heartfelt protestors "thugs" and even threatening that "when the looting starts the shooting starts," wrote a user.