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Trump Tells Governors Not to Be 'Jerks' with Mounting Floyd Protests

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Trump Tells Governors Not to Be 'Jerks' with Mounting Floyd Protests

2020-06-01 16:24:39

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Protest in Brooklyn, New York (Image source: Screenshot

Donald Trump didn't need the country facing any more distress, but he found it anyway with George Flynn's death at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. The stress is clearly getting to him as he implored governors on Monday to not act like "jerks." 

The president told the country's governors in a call to "dominate" while also encouraging them to activate the national guard. That is dangerous for him after equating sending in the national guard with shooting looters in a tweet last week.

The governors heard that they need to get control and that they're "not doing enough" to get that control.  

According to a person on the call, Trump impressed upon those on the call that he agrees with the way Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has handled the violence that has come along with the protest of Floyd's death last week. What he appreciated more than anything was Walz bringing in a large law enforcement presence.

"You have to dominate, or you'll look like a bunch of jerks; you have to arrest and try people," the president told the governors on the call. 

He added that the "whole world was laughing at Minneapolis over the police station getting burned," though he took credit for suggesting that the National Guard be called in.

Trump furthered his animosity with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo by calling out the city, saying, "New York is going to have to toughen up." 

Unrelated to the call, Cuomo said he would speak to New York City Bill de Blasio later. "I'm going to be speaking to the mayor today about a curfew," he said during his daily coronavirus briefing.

Before this, he told the press that the protests have been "counterproductive for New York City in many ways." The state has the National Guard on standby, but he believes New York City "should have enough personnel with the NYPD."  

The governor believes some of the NYPD actions during the week's protests "have exacerbated the anger." He found "very disturbing" the videos of police using force against individuals. He plans to speak with de Blasio about this as well. Additionally, he indicated the person driving an NYPD vehicle into a group of protesters "should be fired."

With all of these images and videos of violent protests between the police and protesters that we have seen on the news and in social media, there are also some officers who are joining the protesters and expressing solidarity. 

"We want to be with y'all, for real. I took my helmet off, laid the batons down. I want to make this a parade, not a protest," said Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson to protesters in Flint, Michigan.

Camden, New Jersey, officers helped carry a "Standing in Solidarity" banner, and it's believed they were joining in with the, "No justice, no peace!" chants. Santa Cruz, California, Police Chief Andy Mills took a knee alongside protesters. The department tweeted it was "in memory of George Floyd and bringing attention to police violence against Black people." 

Two officers — one white and one black — from Kansas City, Missouri, were seen holding a sign that read, "END police brutality." An officer in Fargo, North Dakota, held hands with protest organizers. They held up a sign that read, "We are one race ... The HUMAN race." Ferguson, Missouri, officers knelt for 9-1/2 minutes in Floyd's memory while the crowd cheered.

While not joining the crowd, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields told a black female protester, "Let me tell you something — I am standing here because what I saw was my people face-to-face with this crowd and everybody's thinking, 'How can we use force and defuse this,' and I'm not having it. I'm not having that." 

She concluded, "You have a right to be upset, to be scared, and to want to yell. And we're going to have everybody doing what they need to do, and we're going to do it safely. That's my first commitment. And I hear you."

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