WASHINGTON — Democrats on Friday slammed President Donald Trump for what they said was inciting violence against protesters who were demonstrating in Minneapolis over the death of George Floydwhile he was in police custody.Joe Biden, the apparent 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, tweeted, "I will not lift the President's tweet. I will not give him that amplification. But he is calling for violence against American citizens during a moment of pain for so many. I'm furious, and you should be too."
The former vice president said that he planned to speak about the events in Minneapolis later in the day Friday.
Biden was referring to Trump's tweet from early Friday morning when 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 labeled Trump's tweet as one that violated the company's policy because it glorified violence in the last line.
Hillary Clinton tweeted that Trump is "calling for violence against American citizens."
"That is so wrong. We need honest reckoning and reconciliation," Clinton wrote. "If you haven't already joined the work to replace him in November, start now."
The phrase "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" was used by Miami's police chief, Walter Headley, in 1967, when he addressed his department's crackdown on "slum hoodlums" who he claimed were taking advantage of the civil rights movement. Headley was denounced by civil rights leaders at the time and called a racist by some.
Referring to the historical connotation, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., tweeted, "I doubt the President knows this history, but I don't doubt he knows exactly what he's doing and what sentiments he's trying to appeal to. Just as he did after Charlottesville and when he took out his newspaper ads calling for the death penalty for the Central Park Five."
Taylor Swift also weighed in on Twitter: "After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence? 'When the looting starts the shooting starts'??? We will vote you out in November. @realdonaldtrump"
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., asked his Twitter followers what people will do today to win in November's elections, saying that it's a scary time with 100,000 dead from the coronavirus pandemic and "a president calling for the murder of political opponents and protesters."
Similarly, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., a possible vice presidential pick for Biden, tweeted, "Trump's tweets yet again show what racism looks like. This is why we need new leadership. Vote."
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., also tweeted, "When someone tells you who they are, believe them. The Impeached President is a violent white supremacist."
"Trump's behavior is growing increasingly unhinged, authoritarian, and outright violent and is designed to inflame and divide America further. This is absolutely disgusting and I reject his incitements with every fiber of my body," tweeted Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J.
Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., tweeted a screenshot of the tweet flagged by Twitter along with one from early May in which Trump called protesters in Michigan over the state's coronavirus stay-at-home order "very good people."
"This is what a racist president looks like," Beyer said about the statements.
Several Republican lawmakers, meanwhile, accused Twitter of censoring Trump's comments even though they were not removed by the social media platform.
Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., said that Twitter was censoring Trump's "clear attempt to prevent more violence in Minneapolis."
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tweeted that everyone should be "outraged" by Floyd's death and that it "merits a thorough investigation & appropriate accountability." He said, however, that "riots & looting are self-defeating & never justified." He made no mention of the president's remarks.
Rep. Justin Amash, I-Mich., who left the Republican Party last year and is a frequent critic of the president, tweeted, "The president should be working to calm the situation, not using rhetoric and threats to escalate it. Nobody should comply with an unlawful order from this president or anyone else."
MSN, May 29, 2020
May 29, 2020
Voices4America Post Script. Trump defines what a racist president is - escalating violent situations, dividing America by his own threats. Today, he threatened to shoot American citizens over property. Joe, Hillary & other Dem leaders answered him. Read/share.#NotFit4POTUS
Inciting violence by the police is not new to Trump. He has an ongoing history of urging police brutality- white against black. Here is report of this, published in New York magazine.
JULY 28, 2017
Trump Calls for More Police Brutality in Front of a Crowd of Laughing, Cheering Cops
President Trump on Friday encouraged police officers to be more violent when making arrests, telling them to be "rough" on suspects when tossing them into "paddy wagons."
"Please do not be too nice," he said to a crowd of police officers, who interrupted his remarks to applaud.
The comment came during a speech about gang violence that was peppered with the grotesque imagery Trump favors when he talks about immigrants.
"They kidnap. They extort. They rape, and they rob," he said. "They stomp on their victims. They beat them with clubs, they slash them with machetes, and they stab them with knives. They have transformed peaceful parks and beautiful, quiet neighborhoods into bloodstained killing fields. They're animals."
But it was the comments endorsing police brutality that stood out most during the speech in Suffolk County, where the former police chief is serving a 46-month jail sentence after brutally beating a man who stole a duffel bag full of porn and sex toys from his car.
While Trump hasn't explicitly endorsed this roughing up of suspects in the past, at least not as president, his comments Friday are pretty well in line with how he thinks police should behave. This is the same guy who still believes the Central Park Five are guilty, despite their exoneration. In the aftermath of that infamous attack, he took out a full-page ad in the Times, arguing that criminals should be "forced to suffer."
"Let our politicians give back out police department's power to keep us safe," he wrote. "Unshackle them from the constant chant of 'police brutality,' which every petty criminal hurls immediately at an officer who has just risked his or her life to save another's."
The idea that police could be more effective by being more brutal has stuck with Trump. During last year's campaign, he told Bill O'Reilly that an unnamed Chicago police officer convinced him the city's crime problem could be solved in one week. How? By using "tough police tactics."
Here is the report in The NY Times today - moreabout the damage he does.