Scenes of destruction and chaos that hasn’t been seen since the early ’90s has flooded the news feed this week after the killing of George Floyd just one week ago in Minneapolis. Today marked a sorrowful milestone as riots reach day seven but whilst in one city, a desperate plea for peace has been called upon, in Washington DC, Donald Trump has flared tension between law enforcement and civilians.
Terrence Floyd, brother of George Floyd visited the site where he was killed, and was visibly seen struck by overwhelming grief and barely able to walk. Circled by peaceful protestors, Terrence made a desperate call for peace to the people of Minneapolis, saying the violence will not bring back his brother.
WATCH: Full speech by George Floyd's brother, Terrence Floyd, at site of George Floyd's death. pic.twitter.com/piEcnilzCb
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 1, 2020
“I understand y’all are upset. But I doubt y’all are half as upset as I am,” Terrence Floyd said at the beginning of his speech on Monday.
“So if I’m not over here wilding out, if I’m not over here blowing up stuff, if I’m not over here messing with my community, then what are y’all doing? Y’all doing nothing, but that’s not going to bring my brother back at all,” he said, adding, “My family is a peaceful family. My family is God-fearing.”
An official autopsy ordered by the Floyd family was released today and confirmed he died from ‘mechanical asphyxia’ – a condition in which stops sufficient blood reaching the brain. The officer charged with third degree murder, Derek Chauvin, has reportedly been moved to a more secure prison and is now in solitary confinement.
“In every case of police brutality, the same thing has been happening: Y’all protest; y’all destroy stuff, and they don’t move. You know why they don’t move? Because it’s not their stuff. It’s our stuff, so they want us to destroy our stuff. So let’s do this another way,” Terrence continued.
“Let’s switch it up, y’all. Let’s switch it up and do this peacefully, please,” he said, adding of his brother, “I know he would not want y’all to be doing this.” He then led a chant of “peace on the left, justice on the right.”
In Washington DC which was the focus of mass destruction last night – memorial sites vandalised and historic buildings set alight – the response was far more grim, with President Donald Trump addressing the nation after spending the night in the White House bunker guarded by Secret Service. Standing in front of media this morning, Trump paid respect to George Floyd however his brief speech did not speak of police brutality and instead, a stark warning was given.
Along with a 7pm curfew, Washington DC will experience not only presence from the National Guard, but “thousands and thousands and thousands” of US Military troops. And if state Governors don’t deploy their personnel to the fullest extent, the President will send the soldiers to “solve the problem for them”
“I have strongly recommended to every governor to deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers, that we dominate the streets, mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled,” Donald Trump told his people. “If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”
President Trump says he wants mayors and governors to establish "an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled," and if they don't, "I will deploy the United States military, and quickly solve the problem for them" https://t.co/0LMqrK7lfM pic.twitter.com/TpXLeNf5ki
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 1, 2020
Whilst Trump delivered his address, law enforcement could be seen outside the gates of the White House, teargassing the crowd. A stark difference to what could be seen in Minneapolis just mere hours earlier. Critics are calling Trump’s leadership as borderline dictatorship as his government struggles to gain control of angry civilians. The Insurrection Act could be put in force, a law which hasn’t been used since the 1992 Rodney King riots.
Following his speech, the President asked for the park outside St. John’s Church to be cleared for a photo op, showing he will not hide away from protestors.
More to come.
Trump heading to St John’s church. Asked about clearing out a park for a photo op. pic.twitter.com/4icg7olFPf
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 1, 2020