President Trump is demanding local government come down hard on protestors, according to audio from a video teleconference between the president and state governors.
Across the country, protests against police brutality and seeking justice for the death of George Floyd have continued over multiple days. While the protests themselves have largely been peaceful, events have often escalated to include fires, property damage, and even injury or death to people involved.
“You have to dominate,” Trump said on the call. “If you don’t dominate, you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run over you. You’re going to look like a bunch of jerks. You have to dominate and you have to arrest people and you have to try people and they have to go to jail for long periods of time.”
The president’s call for a harsher response to protestors from the police and National Guard comes as more and more video evidence suggests much of the violence is being initiated and enacted by law enforcement.
“If you don’t dominate your city and your state, they’re going to walk away with you,” he insisted. “And we’re doing it in Washington and DC. And we’re going to do something that people haven’t seen before, but you’re going to have total domination.”
Trump, who spent the other night hiding in a bunker rather than addressing the nation, also claimed the entire world was laughing at Minneapolis as protestors took down the police station. Something he says changed when the governor listened to him and called in the National Guard to “dominate” citizens.
“If you’re weak and don’t dominate your streets, they’re going to stay with you until you finally do it,” he said. “You’ve got a big National Guard out there that’s ready to come in and fight like hell.”
Trump’s repeated calls to use violence and force to address the protests has people outraged.
The insistence on that governors are weak for not being harsher is especially laughable considering Trump’s own decision to hide in a bunker when protestors approached the White House.
Police forces in cities like New York and Los Angeles have responded to protests with curfews, increased law enforcement presence, and mass arrests. The violence and destruction in these cities and those like them has continued as three of the four officers involved in the death of George Floyd still haven’t been arrested. Meanwhile, in places like Flint, Michigan and Camden, New Jersey, where the police listened to protestors and marched in solidarity with them, the protests have largely remained peaceful.
But by all means, let’s react to protests against racial inequality and police brutality by sending the police in to brutalize black Americans even further. That’s clearly the logical choice for a civilized country.