Trump On George Floyd Video: ‘I Couldn’t Really Watch It…It Was Over Eight Minutes’
President Donald Trump hasn’t shown any particular sensitivity to the racism that’s cropped up once again in the U.S. and in some cases, he’s even made the situation worse. But even he has said he found it difficult to watch the entire video of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis Police. That video spurred fiery protests against racism and police brutality nationwide and even Trump said “it doesn’t get any worse than that.”
“The George Floyd case, nothing has to be said. I watched that,” he said on Fox News Wednesday night. “I couldn’t really watch it for that long a period of time, it was over eight minutes. Who could watch that?”
“But it doesn’t get any more obvious or it doesn’t get any worse than that,” he added.
The grueling video that Trump is referencing lasts nearly nine minutes, and it shows an unarmed Black man, Floyd, being pinned down by a white Minneapolis as three of his colleagues look on, The Hill reports. Floyd can be heard saying he can’t breathe before finally becoming unconscious.
In the aftermath, Derek Chauvin, the officer seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck has been charged with murder, while the other three officers have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
Fiery protests and clashes have erupted since the video was released and subsequently went quickly viral, bringing forth discussions on racism and how it is so systematic and institutionalized in the U.S. Some people are also looking for effective ways to demilitarize and defund police departments that commit racist acts.
Trump has criticized the officers involved in Floyd’s death and added “Chauvin has some big problems.”
“I just left a big group of the top sheriffs and law enforcement people in the country, and nobody was sticking up for what he did,” Trump told Fox News.
The interview comes just after the president signed an executive order that seeks to limit chokeholds and offers incentives for local police to improve their training and establish a database that tracks police misconduct.
He also discussed the shooting of Rayshard Brooks, who was killed by police outside a local Wendy’s in Atlanta, Georgia. Brooks was asleep in his car when he was approached by police. He failed a sobriety test and he was shot during a scuffle.
“I thought it was a terrible situation, but you can’t resist a police officer,” Trump said, adding he thought the situation became “out of control.”
“If you have a disagreement, you have to take it up after the fact.”
Garret Rolfe, the officer who fired three shots at Brooks, hitting him twice and then kicking him when he fell to the ground has since been fired and now faces a felony murder charge.
While it would be nice if people were able to discuss such situations after the fact, I’m certain that white people are allowed to do this far more often than Black people are. Figures compiled by Statista bear this out, showing that the rate of fatal police shootings for African-Americans between 2015 and June 2020 stands at 30 per million of the population. For white Americans, the rate stands at 12 fatal police shootings per million of the population.
Trump’s executive order is probably a step in the right direction, but will it keep racist cops from committing these atrocities? I don’t know. But clearly this discussion needs to remain open.