Responses to the Killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Officers on May 25, 2020 and to the Unrest that Followed

MAY 27
Green Party US

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, May 27 2020
Trahern Crews, Green Party National Black Caucus and Green Party of Minnesota
Robin Harris, GP National Black Caucus Co-Chair
Green Party Media

George Floyd Response: Green Party US National Black Caucus Demands Accountability, Structural Changes to Save Black and Brown Lives From Police Brutality

Green Party National Co-Chair Trahern Crews Part of Community Response in Minneapolis
On Tuesday, May 25th Officer Derek Chauvin forced his knee on the neck of George Floyd for eight grueling, life-taking minutes until he died — as Officer Tou Thao looked on. Community members were present and recorded the horrific, traumatizing incident that has sparked protest and anger in the Black community across America.

The resident who recorded the event can be repeatedly heard telling the officers to stop — even as Mr. Floyd, himself, can be heard exclaiming that he could not breathe — because they knew they were killing him.

Darnella Wade, Co-Chair of the Green Party of the 4th CD (MN) said, “these officers need to be held accountable. This video shows the lack of humanity for Black Lives in the criminal justice system in the state of Minnesota and shows why all police officers in the State of Minnesota should be required to carry personal professional liability insurance for their position.”

Under such a policy, Officer Chauvin’s history of police misconduct and settlements would have disqualified him from insurance coverage, he would not have been employed by Minneapolis Police as an officer and so would not have been able to kill George Floyd for no reason at all and to the horror of an entire nation.

The officers were fired the following day. That is a first in the state of Minnesota, which has become ground zero for the fight in police accountability in recent years. The family of Mr. Floyd, activists, organizations and community members have wanted more accountability and want charges to be filed against the cops who murdered George Floyd.

Toya Woodland, Minneapolis Green Party-endorsed candidate for congress in the 5th congressional district said, “we need Community Control of the Police. We should decide which cops get hired and fired in our community. This is why the FBI was called: because our local government is not equipped to protect the lives of Black residents from white supremacy and institutional racism”. 

Protestors and family members gathered at the corner of 38th and Chicago to hold a vigil and protest that included nearly 20,000 people. Trahern Crews, Co-Chair of the Green Party of the United States and an organizer with Black Lives Matter Minnesota, declared, “George Floyd was a father, brother, uncle, and loved community member who was unjustly taken from us by a racist criminal injustice system. We are calling on all activists, community members and lawmakers to put pressure on the city of Minneapolis to hold these officers accountable and begin changing the culture of the Minneapolis Police Department”. 

The National Black Caucus (NBC) of the Green Party of the United States has found “that these incidents are part of a larger, systemic problem stemming from the legacy of slavery and the devaluing of Black and Brown people and communities. It is time for a moratorium on police brutality in the name of public service,” stated Darryl! LC Moch, Co-Chair of the NBC and Chair of the DC Statehood Green Party.“Furthermore,” said Robin Harris, Co-Chair of the NBC and Co-Chair of the Florida Green Party, “we must build strong coalitions, advocacy groups, and elect legislators who will prioritize ending the brutal lynchings and killing of Black and Brown bodies at the hands of the government at all levels. We must hold governments and police departments accountable.”

Trahern Crews quoted in The Daily Beast: “Derek Chauvin, Minneapolis Cop Shown Kneeling on George Floyd’s Neck, Hires Philando Castile Shooter’s Lawyer”
Green Party national platform on criminal justice and ending police brutality
Green Party of the United States

MAY 28
Libertarian National Committee
May 28th, 2020
For Immediate Release:

Libertarians Call for Changes in Minneapolis

The Libertarian Party calls for charges of murder, and accessory to murder, to be filed against the officers present at the time of the killing of George Floyd.

Libertarian Presidential candidate, Jo Jorgensen, issued the following statement: “George Floyd was murdered by the Minneapolis Police Department, plain and simple. The four officers callously disregarded Floyd's pleas to stop and warnings that he was suffocating. This is inexcusable. These officers must be held criminally liable and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Libertarian Party of Minnesota Chair Chris Holbrook said: “Justice is due. Prosecution is required. Reform is mandatory. Inaction is acceptance. We applaud Mpls. Mayor Frey and MPD Chief Arradondo for immediately terminating the employment of the four officers involved in the killing of Mr. Floyd. Yet that is not enough. We call on Hennepin County District Attorney Mike Freeman to immediately charge and arrest these four violent officers.”

Libertarian National Committee Executive Director, Daniel Fishman, added “The most import tool for justice today is the cellphone. A heroic citizen who captured this video may well be responsible for stopping these killers from striking again.”

The Jorgensen campaign can be reached at
The Libertarian party of Minnesota is at
The White House
May 28, 2020

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
2:14 P.M. EDT

MS. MCENANY:  So, I want to start by acknowledging the horrific tragedy in Minnesota of George Floyd.  The death of George Floyd is absolutely tragic — that video that we saw, that I saw, that my staff saw, that the President saw.

And the President put out a statement last night that, “At [his] request, the FBI and the Department of Justice are already well into an investigation as to the very sad and tragic death in Minnesota of George Floyd.  I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by law enforcement.  My heart goes out to George’s family and friends.  Justice will be served!”

I can tell you that as I’m briefing you at this moment, the President is receiving a briefing from the Attorney General, Bill Barr, on this and the Deputy Director of the FBI, as that is ongoing on as I began this briefing...

Biden for President
May 28, 2020

Biden commented on the killing of George Floyd at the top of a virtual “Rock Out on a Night In with Vice President Joe Biden” fundraiser.  From the pool report by CBS News' Bo Erickson:

“We can’t ignore that we are in a country with an open wound right now. A wound far older and deeper than George Floyd’s—George Floyd’s killing—and his brutal, brutal death captured on film. His final words, pleading for breathe. ‘Let me breathe, I can’t breathe.’ It’s ripped open anew this—this ugly underbelly of our society. Tonight the National Guard has been called out of Minneapolis and I urge the protestors to exercise their rights peacefully and safely. But people all across this country are enraged and rightly so. Everyday African Americans go about their lives with constant anxiety and trauma of wondering ‘Will I be next?’ Sounds like an exaggeration but it’s not. These tragedies, these injustices cut at the very heart of our most sacred of beliefs: that all Americans, equal in rights and in dignity, are part of an ingrained systemic cycle of racism and oppression that throughout every part of our society. We need to make sure justice is real for the Floyd family. That the protections and the rule of law are real for every American. That officers in the Floyd case must be held accountable, including with the FBI investigation and independent Department of Justice civil rights investigation. You know, if we’re not committed as a nation, with every ounce of purpose in our beings--not just to binding up this wound in hope that somehow the scab once again will cover things over--but to treat the underlying injury, we’re never going to eventually heal. That’s the reason I’m running. This campaign is about healing this country…”

Fraternal Order of Police
May 28, 2020

FOP Issues Statement on George Floyd Arrest Death

The National Fraternal Order of Police has released a statement on the death of George Floyd. Floyd died after an arrest by Minneapolis officers Monday. Civilian video of the incident shows an officer with his knee on the back of Floyd's neck pinning him to the ground. Four officers involved in the incident have been fired by the Minneapolis Police Department.

FOP's statement reads:

Our thoughts and prayers today are with the friends and family of Mr. George Floyd, whose tragic death this week shocked and horrified our nation.

Law enforcement officers are empowered to use force when apprehending suspects and they are rigorously trained to do so in order to have the safest possible outcome for all parties. Based on the by-stander’s video from this incident, we witnessed a man in distress pleading for help. The fact that he was a suspect in custody is immaterial—police officers should at all times render aid to those who need it. Police officers need to treat all of our citizens with respect and understanding and should be held to the very highest standards for their conduct.

The FOP has full confidence in our criminal justice system. This incident is being investigated by multiple law enforcement agencies. The officers are reportedly cooperating with investigators and we must ensure that justice is served, whatever the consequences.

I do not believe this incident should be allowed to define our profession or the Minneapolis Police Department, but there is no doubt that this incident has diminished the trust and respect our communities have for the men and women of law enforcement. We will work hard to rebuild that trust and we will continue to protect our communities.

National Nurses United
May 28, 2020

National Nurses Statement on George Floyd and National Policing Practices

In the wake of the latest police killing of an African American man in Minneapolis, National Nurses United joins those calling for systemic reform on the use of deadly force by law enforcement agencies, and increased review of discriminatory practices that infer a racial bias. 

George Floyd died Monday night while handcuffed after a police officer kneeled on his neck for at least seven minutes despite protests from observers that his life was in jeopardy and Floyd warning “I can’t breathe,” a reminder of a similar police killing of Eric Garner in New York in 2014.

In a statement Tuesday, the Minnesota Nurses Association, an NNU affiliate, noted:
“As nurses, we see the horrific effects of racism in our hospitals and community every day. We cannot remain silent as yet another black man has died at the hands of police. In a hospital or clinic, when a person says ‘I can’t breathe’ they are immediately swarmed by medical professionals who triage the situation and treat them immediately. They work hard to save lives. In the case of George Floyd, Minneapolis Police took no care or life-saving measures. Instead, they left him pinned down to the ground until paramedics arrived. Police ignored the pleas of George Floyd and he died.

“Nurses care for all patients, regardless of their gender, race, religion or other status. We expect the same from the police. Unfortunately, nurses continue to see the devastating effects of systematic racism and oppression targeting people of color in our communities. We demand justice for George Floyd and a stop to the unnecessary death of black men at the hands of those who should protect them.”

NNU echoes those remarks, said NNU President Jean Ross, RN, a Minnesota resident. “Nurses know that racism is a public health crisis, whether in societal practices that have contributed to the disproportionate COVID-19 deaths of African Americans or the deaths of African Americas at the hands of police. It is incumbent on all of us to work for systemic change.”

Dating back to 2014, following the police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager in Ferguson, MO, NNU said, “as advocates for their patients, and practitioners of therapeutic healing and recovery, whether at the bedside, or in our communities, registered nurses and NNU are compelled to speak out.”

Nearly six years later, Ross said, the death of black men and women at the hands of police continue to be a national scourge that “must be addressed with comprehensive reforms that recognize the violation of human rights and calamitous effects on health, safety, and security of the entire black community across the U.S.”  

Those reforms, said Ross, should include national policy standards, rigorously enforced by public oversight, “to reign in what has become a Wild West use of deadly force, as a first resort rather than the last step in policing practices, especially against unarmed black men and women.”

De-escalation when possible, with regular training and enforcement, “will help build public trust with affected communities which is essential to public safety,” Ross added.

That should be augmented, said Ross, by other reforms, as outlined in a 2014 letter by the AFL-CIO and dozens of members of Congress, faith and community leaders, that was endorsed by NNU, calling for racial bias training of law enforcement personnel, national standards of investigation including community review boards, and improved diversity in hiring and retention.

The death of George Floyd should also be viewed in the context of other recent killings of African Americans, including emergency medical technician Breonna Taylor, in her home by Louisville police, and Ahmaud Arbery, murdered while jogging by white supremacist vigilantes.

Even in the midst of a pandemic, societal racism continues to be a national plague, says NNU. That is seen in harassment and threats of Asian-Americans targeted by those blaming them for the virus, racist signs carried by some of those protesting sheltering policies, as well as disproportionate COVID-19 deaths of African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans.

At its NNU Convention delegates in 2018, NNU members cited “the pervasive problems of racial, economic, and social injustice that have so stained our nation and undermined the promise of democracy” and re-emphasized that “as nurses, we are dedicated to prevent all forms of illness, protect health, and alleviate human suffering.”

The resolution pledged NNU to continue to champion “patient advocacy beyond the bedside” by partnering with organizations and communities of color as part of our work to build a wider movement that will fight for a society that cherishes and celebrates our rich diversity.”

May 28, 2020 9:53 p.m.

MAY 29
May 29, 2020 11:20 a.m.

Former President Barack Obama
May 29, 2020

I want to share parts of the conversations I’ve had with friends over the past couple days about the footage of George Floyd dying face down on the street under the knee of a police officer in Minnesota.

The first is an email from a middle-aged African American businessman.

“Dude I gotta tell you the George Floyd incident in Minnesota hurt. I cried when I saw that video. It broke me down. The ‘knee on the neck’ is a metaphor for how the system so cavalierly holds black folks down, ignoring the cries for help. People don’t care. Truly tragic.”

Another friend of mine used the powerful song that went viral from 12-year-old Keedron Bryant to describe the frustrations he was feeling.

The circumstances of my friend and Keedron may be different, but their anguish is the same. It’s shared by me and millions of others.

It’s natural to wish for life “to just get back to normal” as a pandemic and economic crisis upend everything around us. But we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly “normal” – whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park.

This shouldn’t be “normal” in 2020 America. It can’t be “normal.” If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better.

It will fall mainly on the officials of Minnesota to ensure that the circumstances surrounding George Floyd’s death are investigated thoroughly and that justice is ultimately done. But it falls on all of us, regardless of our race or station – including the majority of men and women in law enforcement who take pride in doing their tough job the right way, every day – to work together to create a “new normal” in which the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts.

Democratic National Committee
May 29, 2020

DNC on George Floyd and Trump's Response

DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement on the killing of George Floyd and the shameful response of Donald Trump:

“The killing of George Floyd is another tragic case of the violence Black men face in America every single day. No person of character and common sense can watch the video footage of what police did to George Floyd without being horrified. And yet, this president has done nothing to heal those wounds. Instead, he has sown division; he has advocated violence against protestors, rather than condemning the racist violence that launched these protests in the first place. We will not heal as a nation through silence, but through justice, through progress, through activism and action. George Floyd is the name we’re chanting today. Yesterday it was Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Before that it was Botham Jean, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald. We will keep saying their names. We will keep honoring their lives. And we will keep seeking justice for their families and the families of those whose tragedies weren’t captured on video by fighting to end police brutality and the institutional racism that pervades every aspect of our society. So long as Black men and women cannot breathe, we cannot rest.”

Biden for President
May 29, 2020

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Vice President Joe Biden on George Floyd 

Once again — the words “I can’t breathe.”

An act of brutality so elemental, it did more than deny one more black man in America his civil rights and his human rights. It denied his very humanity. It denied him of his life.
Depriving George Floyd – as it deprived Eric Garner – of the one thing every human being must be able to do: Breathe.
So simple. So basic. So brutal.

The same thing happened with Ahmaud Arbery. The same with Breonna Taylor. The same thing with George Floyd.

We’ve spoken their names aloud. Cried them out in pain and horror. Chiseled them into long suffering hearts.
They are the latest additions to an endless list of lives stolen--potential wiped out unnecessarily.
It’s a list that dates back more than 400 years: black men, black women, black children.
The original sin of this country still stains our nation today.

Sometimes we manage to overlook it, and just push forward with the thousand other tasks of daily life. But it’s always there.
And weeks like this, we see it plainly.
We are a country with an open wound.
None of us can turn away.
None of us can be silent.
None of us any longer can hear those words — “I can’t breathe” — and do nothing.
We cannot fall victim to what Martin Luther King called the “appalling silence of the good people.”
Every day, African Americans go about their lives with constant anxiety and trauma, wondering — who will be next?
Imagine if every time your husband or son, wife or daughter, left the house, you feared for their safety from bad actors and bad police.
Imagine if you had to have that talk with your child about not asserting their rights — and taking the abuse handed out to them — just so they could make it home.
Imagine having the police called on you – for just sitting in Starbucks or renting an Airbnb or watching birds.
That is the norm for black people in this nation — they don’t have to imagine it.

The anger and the frustration and the exhaustion — it’s undeniable.
But that is not the promise of America.
And it is long past time we made the promise of this nation real for all people.

This is no time for incendiary tweets. This is no time to encourage violence.

This is a national crisis, and we need real leadership right now. 

Leadership that will bring everyone to the table so we can take measures to root out systemic racism.
It’s time for us to take a hard look at uncomfortable truths.
It’s time for us to face the deep, open wound we have in this nation.
We need justice for George Floyd.
We need real police reform that holds all cops up to the high standards that so many of them actually meet — that holds bad cops accountable, and that repairs the relationship between law enforcement and the community they are sworn to protect.
And we need to stand up as a nation — with the black community, and with all minority communities — and come together as one America.
That’s the challenge we face.

And it will require those of us who sit in positions of influence to finally deal with the abuse of power.
The pain is too immense for one community to bear alone.

It is the duty of every American to grapple with it — and grapple with it now.

With our complacency, our silence — we are complicit in perpetuating these cycles of violence.
Nothing about this will be easy or comfortable. But if we simply allow this wound to scab over once more, without treating the underlying injury — we will never truly heal.

The very soul of America is at stake.
We must commit, as a nation, to pursue justice with every ounce of our being. We have to pursue it with real urgency. We have to make real the American promise, which we have never fully grasped: That all men and women are not only equal at creation, but throughout their lives.

The White House
May 29, 2020

Roundtable Discussion with Industry Executives on Reopening

State Dining Room

4:54 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  All right.  Thank you very much.  Appreciate it.  I want to express our nation’s deepest condolences and most heartfelt sympathies to the family of George Floyd.  A terrible event.  Terrible, terrible thing that happened.

I’ve asked that the Department of Justice expedite the federal investigation into his death and do it immediately, do it as quickly as absolutely possible.  It’s a local situation, but we’re also making it into a federal situation.  And it’s — it’s a terrible thing.  We all saw what we saw, and it’s very hard to even conceive of anything other than what we did see.  It should never happen.  It should never be allowed to happen, a thing like that.

But we’re determined that justice be served.  And I spoke to members of the family.  Terrific people.  And we’ll be reporting as time goes by.  We think that we also have to make the statement, and it’s very important that we have peaceful protesters and support the rights for peaceful protesters.  We can’t allow a situation like happened in Minneapolis to descend further into lawless anarchy and chaos.  And we understand that very well.

It’s very important, I believe, to the family, to everybody that the memory of George Floyd be a perfect memory.  Let it be a perfect memory.  The looters should not be allowed to drown out the voices of so many peaceful protesters they hurt so badly.  What is happening — and it’s so bad for the state and for that great city.

So we are working very closely with the Justice Department.  We’re working with local law enforcement.  We’re working with everybody.  And we’re speaking with the family, and hopefully everything can be fairly taken care of.  I understand the hurt.  I understand the pain.  People have really been through a lot.  The family of George is entitled to justice, and the people of Minnesota are entitled to live in safety.  Law and order will prevail.

The Americans will honor the memory of George and the Floyd family.  It’s very important to us.  It’s very important to me to see that everything is taken care of properly.  It’s a horrible, horrible situation.  And so we’ll be reporting back in due course and as quickly as possible.


MAY 30
The White House
May 30, 2020

Remarks by President Trump Before Marine One Departure

South Lawn
12:34 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  We’ll be going to the Space Center.  We’re going to be hopefully seeing a great launch.  It’s about a 50/50 shot.  But it’s important, I think, as President to be there.  What we’ve done with NASA is amazing.  We’ve brought it back from the dead.  It was not essentially functioning, and now it’s one of the great centers in the world.  This is the greatest center in the world.

So I think I have an obligation to be there, and it’s very exciting, even though it’s about a 50/50 shot.  Otherwise, it will be postponed until Wednesday, I understand.  Not Sunday, but Wednesday.  But we’ll see what happens.

So we look forward to being there.  Some of you are going with us.

Any questions?

Q    Mr. President, are you — with your tweets today, are you concerned that you might be stoking more racial violence or more racial discord?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, no.  Not at all.  MAGA says “Make America Great Again.”  These are people that love our country.  I have no idea if they’re going to be here.  I was just asking.  But I have no idea if they’re going to be here.  But MAGA is “Make America Great Again.”  By the way, they love African American people.  They love black people.  MAGA loves black people.
I heard that MAGA wanted to be there; a lot of MAGA was going to be there.  I have no idea if that’s true or not.  But they love our country.  Remember that: MAGA is just an expression, but MAGA loves our country.


Q    (Inaudible) to hold a counter protest at all?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, I don’t — I don’t care.  I mean, I don’t care.  I want to just thank, though, the Secret Service.  They were so professional last night.  It was incredible.  They were so professional.  They were really great.  Really great.

Any other questions?  Anybody else going?

By the way, I want to say it again: Secret Service did a job last night that was incredible.  Minneapolis — I love that city.  As you know, I’ve had very great success there.  Almost won the state for the first time in many, many decades.  I almost won that state, and it’s a great state — Minnesota.

They’ve got to get tougher.  They’ve got to get tougher.  They’ve got to be strong.  Honor the memory of George Floyd.  Honor his memory.  They have to get tougher.  And by being tougher, they will be honoring his memory.  But they cannot let that happen.

When I saw a policeman, run by a mayor who I think is probably a very good person — but he’s a radical-left mayor — when I saw the policeman running out of a police station, for that police station to be abandoned and taken over, I’ve never seen anything so horrible and stupid in my life.  I’ve never seen anything so bad.  And then I see them trying to justify it.

Look, they’ve got to be tough, they’ve got to be smart.  We have our military ready, willing, and able if they ever want to call our military.  But we can have troops to the ground very quickly if they ever want our military.

They’re using their National Guard right now — the, as you know — I guess, as you probably know, they have their National Guard out.  We can have our military there very quickly.  They’ve got to be tough.  They’ve got to be strong.  They’ve got to be respected, because these people, the Antifa — there’s a lot of radical-left, bad people.  And they’ve got to be taught that you can’t do this.
So I’m going now to watch a great launch, and we’ll see how we do.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

END           12:38 P.M. EDT
The White House
May 30, 2020

Remarks by President Trump at Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center
Cape Canaveral, Florida

5:16 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much.  Please.  Please.  Big day.  This is a big day.  And I want to thank our great Vice President for your fearless and tireless commitment to fulfilling America’s destiny in space.  Thank you very much, Mike.  Great job.  Great job.  (Applause.)
We’re also grateful to Mike’s wonderful wife, Karen, for being here and for all she does for our country.  Thank you.  Thank you, Karen.  (Applause.)

Before going further on this exciting day for all America in space, I want to say a few words about the situation in Minnesota.  The death of George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis was a grave tragedy.  It should never have happened.  It has filled Americans all over the country with horror, anger, and grief.

Yesterday, I spoke to George’s family and expressed the sorrow of our entire nation for their loss.  I stand before you as a friend and ally to every American seeking justice and peace.  And I stand before you in firm opposition to anyone exploiting this tragedy to loot, rob, attack, and menace.  Healing, not hatred; justice, not chaos are the mission at hand.  (Applause.)

The police officers involved in this incident have been fired from their jobs.  One officer has already been arrested and charged with murder.  State and federal authorities are carrying out an investigation to see what further charges may be warranted, including against, sadly, the other three.

In addition, my administration has opened a civil rights investigation, and I have asked the Attorney General and the Justice Department to expedite it.

I understand the pain that people are feeling.  We support the right of peaceful protesters, and we hear their pleas.  But what we are now seeing on the streets of our cities has nothing to do with justice or with peace.

The memory of George Floyd is being dishonored by rioters, looters, and anarchists.  The violence and vandalism is being led by Antifa and other radical left-wing groups who are terrorizing the innocent, destroying jobs, hurting businesses, and burning down buildings.

The main victims of this horrible, horrible situations are the citizens who live in these once lovely communities.  The mobs are devastating the life’s work of good people and destroying their dreams.  Right now, America needs creation, not destruction; cooperation, not contempt; security, not anarchy.  And there will be no anarchy.  Civilization must be cherished, defended, and protected.  The voices of law-abiding citizens must be heard, and heard very loudly.

We cannot and must not allow a small group of criminals and vandals to wreck our cities and lay waste to our communities.  We must defend the rights of every citizen to live without violence, prejudice, or fear.

We support the overwhelming majority of police officers who are incredible in every way and devoted public servants.  They keep our cities safe, protect our communities from gangs and drugs, and risk their own lives for us every day.

No one is more upset than fellow law enforcement officers by the small handful who fail to abide by their oath to serve and protect.  My administration will stop mob violence and will stop it cold.

It does not serve the interests of justice or any citizen of any race, color, or creed for the government to give into anarchy, abandon police precincts, or allow communities to be burned to the ground.  It won’t happen.

Those making excuses or justifications for violence are not helping the downtrodden, but delivering new anguish and new pain.

From day one of my administration, we have made it a top priority to build up distressed communities and revitalize our crumbling inner cities.

We fought hard with Senator Tim Scott and many others to create Opportunity Zones, helping to draw a surge of new investment to the places in our country that need it most.  We must all work together as a society to expand opportunity and to create a future of greater dignity and promise for all of our people.  We must forge a partnership with community leaders, local law enforcement, and the faith community to restore hope.

Radical-left criminals, thugs, and others all throughout our country and throughout the world will not be allowed to set communities ablaze.  We won’t let it happen.  It harms those who have the least.  And we will be protecting those who have the least.

The leadership of the National Guard and the Department of Justice are now in close communication with state and city officials in Minnesota.  And we’re coordinating our efforts with local law enforcement all across our nation.

In America, justice is never achieved at the hands of an angry mob.  I will not allow angry mobs to dominate.  It won’t happen.  It is essential that we protect the crown jewel of American democracy: the rule of law and our independent system of justice.  Every citizen in every community has the right to be safe in their workplace, safe in their homes, and safe in our city streets.

This is the sacred right of all Americans that I am totally determined to defend and will defend.  My administration will always stand against violence, mayhem, and disorder.

We will stand with the family of George Floyd with the peaceful protesters and with every law-abiding citizen who wants decency, civility, safety, and security.

We are working toward a more just society, but that means building up, not tearing down; joining hands, not hurling fists; standing in solidarity, not surrendering to hostility.

Moments ago, as we witnessed the launch of two great American astronauts into space, we were filled with the sense of pride and unity that brings us together as Americans.  That same spirit which powered our astronauts to the Moon has also helped lift our country to ever greater heights of justice and opportunity throughout our history.

So today, as we mark a renewed commitment to America’s future in space, a tremendous commitment it is.  Let us also commit to a brighter future for all of our citizens right here on Earth.

When Americans are united, there is nothing we cannot do.  From day one of my administration, we put America first.  (Applause.)

This afternoon, I’m delighted to be with you at Cape Canaveral, in this storied home of American daring, aspiration, and drive.

This is the first big space message in 50 years.  Think of that.  And it is an honor ...

MAY 31
Biden for President
May 31, 2020 

Statement by Vice President Joe Biden

These last few days have laid bare that we are a nation furious at injustice. Every person of conscience can understand the rawness of the trauma people of color experience in this country, from the daily indignities to the extreme violence, like the horrific killing of George Floyd. 
Protesting such brutality is right and necessary. It’s an utterly American response. But burning down communities and needless destruction is not. Violence that endangers lives is not. Violence that guts and shutters businesses that serve the community is not.
The act of protesting should never be allowed to overshadow the reason we protest. It should not drive people away from the just cause that protest is meant to advance.
I know that there are people all across this country who are suffering tonight. Suffering the loss of a loved one to intolerable circumstances, like the Floyd family, or to the virus that is still gripping our nation. Suffering economic hardships, whether due to COVID-19 or entrenched inequalities in our system. And I know that a grief that dark and deep may at times feel too heavy to bear. 
I know. 
And I also know that the only way to bear it is to turn all that anguish to purpose. So tonight, I ask all of America to join me — not in denying our pain or covering it over — but using it to compel our nation across this turbulent threshold into the next phase of progress, inclusion, and opportunity for our great democracy. 
We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us. We are a nation enraged, but we cannot allow our rage to consume us. We are a nation exhausted, but we will not allow our exhaustion to defeat us.
As President, I will help lead this conversation — and more importantly, I will listen. I will keep the commitment I made to George’s brother, Philonise, that George will not just be a hashtag. We must and will get to a place where everyone, regardless of race, believes that "to protect and serve" means to protect and serve them. Only by standing together will we rise stronger than before. More equal, more just, more hopeful — and that much closer to our more perfect union. 
Please stay safe. Please take care of each other. 


The White House
May 30, 2020

Statement by the President

Rose Garden

6:43 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  My fellow Americans: My first and highest duty as President is to defend our great country and the American people.  I swore an oath to uphold the laws of our nation, and that is exactly what I will do.

All Americans were rightly sickened and revolted by the brutal death of George Floyd.  My administration is fully committed that, for George and his family, justice will be served.  He will not have died in vain.  But we cannot allow the righteous cries and peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob.  The biggest victims of the rioting are peace-loving citizens in our poorest communities, and as their President, I will fight to keep them safe.  I will fight to protect you.  I am your President of law and order, and an ally of all peaceful protesters.

But in recent days, our nation has been gripped by professional anarchists, violent mobs, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, Antifa, and others.  A number of state and local governments have failed to take necessary action to safeguard their residence.  Innocent people have been savagely beaten, like the young man in Dallas, Texas, who was left dying on the street, or the woman in Upstate New York viciously attacked by dangerous thugs.

Small-business owners have seen their dreams utterly destroyed.  New York’s Finest have been hit in the face with bricks.  Brave nurses, who have battled the virus, are afraid to leave their homes.  A police precinct station has been overrun.  Here in the nation’s capital, the Lincoln Memorial and the World War Two Memorial have been vandalized.  One of our most historic churches was set ablaze.  A federal officer in California, an African American enforcement hero, was shot and killed.

These are not acts of peaceful protest.  These are acts of domestic terror.  The destruction of innocent life and the spilling of innocent blood is an offense to humanity and a crime against God.

America needs creation, not destruction; cooperation, not contempt; security, not anarchy; healing, not hatred; justice, not chaos.  This is our mission, and we will succeed.  One hundred percent, we will succeed.  Our country always wins.

That is why I am taking immediate presidential action to stop the violence and restore security and safety in America.  I am mobilizing all available federal resources — civilian and military — to stop the rioting and looting, to end the destruction and arson, and to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans, including your Second Amendment rights.  Therefore, the following measures are going into effect immediately:

First, we are ending the riots and lawlessness that has spread throughout our country.  We will end it now.  Today, 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.

If a city or a 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.

I am also taking swift and decisive action to protect our great capital, Washington, D.C.  What happened in this city last night was a total disgrace.  As we speak, I am dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement officers to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults, and the wanton destruction of property.

We are putting everybody on warning: Our seven o’clock curfew will be strictly enforced.  Those who threaten innocent life and property will be arrested, detained, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

I want the organizers of this terror to be on notice that you will face severe criminal penalties and lengthy sentences in jail.  This includes Antifa and others who are leading instigators of this violence.

One law and order — and that is what it is: one law.  We have one beautiful law.  And once that is restored and fully restored, we will help you, we will help your business, and we will help your family.

America is founded upon the rule of law.  It is the foundation of our prosperity, our freedom, and our very way of life.  But where there is no law, there is no opportunity.  Where there is no justice, there is no liberty.  Where there is no safety, there is no future.

We must never give in to anger or hatred.  If malice or violence reigns, then none of us is free.

I take these actions today with firm resolve and with a true and passionate love for our country.  By far, our greatest days lie ahead.

Thank you very much.  And now I’m going to pay my respects to a very, very special place.  Thank you very much.

END               6:50 P.M. EDT

[C-SPAN video]

Ed. note: Trump's photo op was widely, near universally, condemned.  After having law enforcement use force to clear peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square, he and aides walked across the park to stand in front of St. John's Church where he helld up a Bible.

Democratic National Committee
June 1, 2020

DNC on Trump’s Remarks Tonight

In response to Trump’s remarks tonight, DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement:

“The president just poured more gasoline on the fire. His speech tonight was not intended to heal the nation; it was a show of cowardice by a president who has learned nothing from the unrest gripping our country. Instead of advocating reforms against police brutality, he essentially authorized a police state. He declared himself an ally of peaceful protesters as federal law enforcement officers fired tear gas on them to clear the way for his photo-op. Trump showed us that he is not only incapable of leading this nation, but he has no interest in trying. Our nation will make progress not by silencing protestors, but by listening to the voices of communities of color who have too often been ignored. We will make progress not through scare tactics, but through solidarity in the fight for racial justice and equality. We will make progress not through apathy, but through action and activism. America is hurting. Our African American brothers and sisters are hurting. Civil rights in the unfinished business of America, and it is our collective responsibility to carry on that work each and every day. The American people deserve a president who shares that mission.”

Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs
June 1, 2020

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s statement on President Donald Trump’s use of St. John’s, Holy Bible

[June 1, 2020] The following is a statement from Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry:

This evening, the President of the United States stood in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, lifted up a bible, and had pictures of himself taken. In so doing, he used a church building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes. This was done in a time of deep hurt and pain in our country, and his action did nothing to help us or to heal us.

The bible teaches us that “God is love.” Jesus of Nazareth taught, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The prophet Micah taught that the Lord requires us to “do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.”

The bible the President held up and the church that he stood in front of represent the values of love, of justice, of compassion, and of a way to heal our hurts.

We need our President, and all who hold office, to be moral leaders who help us to be a people and nation living these values. For the sake of George Floyd, for all who have wrongly suffered, and for the sake of us all, we need leaders to help us to be “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”

Biden for President

June 2, 2020   [Mayor’s Reception Room in Philadelphia City Hall]

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Vice President Joe Biden in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“I can’t breathe.” “I can’t breathe.”
George Floyd’s last words. But they didn’t die with him. They’re still being heard. They’re echoing across this nation.
They speak to a nation where too often just the color of your skin puts your life at risk.
They speak to a nation where more than 100,000 people have lost their lives to a virus – and 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment – with a disproportionate number of these deaths and job losses concentrated in black and brown communities.
And they speak to a nation where every day millions of people – not at the moment of losing their life – but in the course of living their life – are saying to themselves, “I can’t breathe.”
It’s a wake-up call for our nation. For all of us.
And I mean all of us. It’s not the first time we’ve heard these words – they’re the same words we heard from Eric Garner when his life was taken six years ago.
But it’s time to listen to these words. Understand them. And respond to them – with real action.
The country is crying out for leadership. Leadership that can unite us.  Leadership that can bring us together. Leadership that can recognize the pain and deep grief of communities that have had a knee on their neck for too long.
But there is no place for violence.
No place for looting or destroying property or burning churches, or destroying businesses — many of them built by people of color who for the first time were beginning to realize their dreams and build wealth for their families.
Nor is it acceptable for our police — sworn to protect and serve all people — to escalate tensions or resort to excessive violence.
We need to distinguish between legitimate peaceful protest — and opportunistic violent destruction.

And we must be vigilant about the violence that’s being done by the incumbent president to our democracy and to the pursuit of justice.
When peaceful protestors are dispersed by the order of the President from the doorstep of the people’s house, the White House — using tear gas and flash grenades — in order to stage a photo op at a noble church, we can be forgiven for believing that the president is more interested in power than in principle.
More interested in serving the passions of his base than the needs of the people in his care.
For that’s what the presidency is: a duty of care — to all of us, not just our voters, not just our donors, but all of us.
The President held up a bible at St. John’s church yesterday. 

If he opened it instead of brandishing it, he could have learned something: That we are all called to love one another as we love ourselves.
That’s hard work. But it’s the work of America.
Donald Trump isn’t interested in doing that work.

Instead he’s preening and sweeping away all the guardrails that have long protected our democracy.
Guardrails that have helped make possible this nation’s path to a more perfect union.
A union that constantly requires reform and rededication – and yes the protests from voices of those mistreated, ignored, left out and left behind.
But it’s a union worth fighting for and that’s why I’m running for President.
In addition to the Bible, he might also want to open the U.S. Constitution.
If he did, he’d find the First Amendment. It protects “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Mr. President: That is America.
Not horses rising up on their hind legs to push back a peaceful protest. Not using the American military to move against the American people. This nation is a nation of values. Our freedom to speak is the cherished knowledge that lives inside every American.
We will not allow any President to quiet our voice. 
We won’t let those who see this as an opportunity to sow chaos throw up a smokescreen to distract us from the very real and legitimate grievances at the heart of these protests. 

And we can’t leave this moment thinking we can once again turn away and do nothing. We can’t.
The moment has come for our nation to deal with systemic racism. To deal with the growing economic inequality in our nation. And to deal with the denial of the promise of this nation — to so many.
I’ve said from the outset of this election that we are in a battle for the soul of this nation. Who we are. What we believe. And maybe most important — who we want to be.
It’s all at stake. That is truer today than ever. And it’s in this urgency we can find the path forward.
The history of this nation teaches us that it’s in some of our darkest moments of despair that we’ve made some of our greatest progress.
The 13th and 14th and 15th Amendments followed the Civil War. The greatest economy in the history of the world grew out of the Great Depression. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 came in the tracks of Bull Connor’s vicious dogs.
To paraphrase Reverend Barber — it’s in the mourning we find hope. 

It will take more than talk. We’ve had talk before. We’ve had protests before. 

Let us vow to make this, at last, an era of action to reverse systemic racism with long overdue and concrete changes.
That action will not be completed in the first 100 days of my Presidency — or even an entire term.
It is the work of a generation.
But if this agenda will take time to complete, it should not wait for the first 100 days of my Presidency to get started.
A down payment on what is long overdue should come now. Immediately.
I call on Congress to act this month on measures that would be a first step in this direction. Starting with real police reform.
Congressman Jeffries has a bill to outlaw choke holds. Congress should put it on President Trump’s desk in the next few days.
There are other measures: to stop transferring weapons of war to police forces, to improve oversight and accountability, to create a model use of force standard — that also should be made law this month. 
No more excuses. No more delays. 
If the Senate has time to confirm Trump’s unqualified judicial nominees who will run roughshod over our Constitution, it has time to pass legislation that will give true meaning to our Constitution’s promise of “equal protection of the laws.”
Looking ahead, in the first 100 days of my presidency, I have committed to creating a national police oversight commission.
I’ve long believed we need real community policing.
And we need each and every police department in the country to undertake a comprehensive review of their hiring, their training, and their de-escalation practices.
And the federal government should give them the tools and resources they need to implement reforms.
Most cops meet the highest standards of their profession. All the more reason that bad cops should be dealt with severely and swiftly. We all need to take a hard look at the culture that allows for these senseless tragedies to keep happening. 
And we need to learn from the cities and precincts that are getting it right.
We know, though, that to have true justice in America, we need economic justice, too.
Here, too, there is much to be done.

As an immediate step, Congress should act to rectify racial inequities in the allocation of COVID-19 recovery funds. 
I will be setting forth more of my agenda on economic justice and opportunity in the weeks and months ahead.
But it begins with health care. It should be a right not a privilege. The quickest route to universal coverage in this country is to expand Obamacare.
We could do it. We should do it.
But this president — even now — in the midst of a public health crisis with massive unemployment wants to destroy it.
He doesn’t care how many millions of Americans will be hurt— because he is consumed with his blinding ego when it comes to President Obama.
The President should withdraw his lawsuit to strike down Obamacare, and the Congress should prepare to act on my proposal to expand Obamacare to millions more.
These last few months we have seen America’s true heroes. The health care workers, the nurses, delivery truck drivers, grocery store workers.

We have a new phrase for them: Essential workers.
But we need to do more than praise them. We need to pay them.
Because if it wasn’t clear before, it’s clear now. This country wasn’t built by Wall Street bankers and CEOs. It was built by America’s great middle class — by our essential workers.
I know there is enormous fear and uncertainty and anger in the country. I understand.
And I know so many Americans are suffering. Suffering the loss of a loved one. Suffering economic hardships. Suffering under the weight of generation after generation after generation of hurt inflicted on people of color — and on black and Native communities in particular.
I know what it means to grieve. My losses are not the same as the losses felt by so many. But I know what it is to feel like you cannot go on.
I know what it means to have a black hole of grief sucking at your chest.
Just a few days ago marked the fifth anniversary of my son Beau’s passing from cancer. There are still moments when the pain is so great it feels no different from the day he died. But I also know that the best way to bear loss and pain is to turn all that anger and anguish to purpose.
And, Americans know what our purpose is as a nation. It has guided us from the very beginning.
It’s been reported. That on the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated, little Yolanda King came home from school in Atlanta and jumped in her father’s arms.
“Oh, Daddy,” she said, “now we will never get our freedom.”
Her daddy was reassuring, strong, and brave.
“Now don’t you worry, baby,” said Martin Luther King, Jr. “It’s going to be all right.”
Amid violence and fear, Dr. King persevered.

He was driven by his dream of a nation where “justice runs down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
Then, in 1968 hate would cut him down in Memphis.
A few days before Dr. King was murdered, he gave a final Sunday sermon in Washington.
He told us that though the arc of a moral universe is long, it bends toward justice.
And we know we can bend it — because we have. We have to believe that still. That is our purpose. It’s been our purpose from the beginning.

To become the nation where all men and women are not only created equal — but treated equally.
To become the nation defined — in Dr. King’s words — not only by the absence of tension, but by the presence of justice.
Today in America it’s hard to keep faith that justice is at hand. I know that. You know that.
The pain is raw. The pain is real.
A president of the United States must be part of the solution, not the problem. But our president today is part of the problem.
When he tweeted the words “When the looting starts, the shooting starts” – those weren’t the words of a president. They were the words of a racist Miami police chief from the 1960s.
When he tweeted that protesters “would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs … that’s when people would have been really badly hurt.” Those weren’t the words of a president — those were the kind of words a Bull Connor would have used unleashing his dogs.
The American story is about action and reaction. That’s the way history works. We can’t be naïve about that.
I wish I could say this hate began with Donald Trump and will end with him. It didn’t and it won’t. American history isn’t a fairytale with a guaranteed happy ending.

The battle for the soul of this nation has been a constant push-and-pull for more than 240 years.
A tug of war between the American ideal that we are all created equal and the harsh reality that racism has long torn us apart. The honest truth is both elements
are part of the American character.
At our best, the American ideal wins out.
It’s never a rout. It’s always a fight. And the battle is never finally won.
But we can’t ignore the truth that we are at our best when we open our hearts, not when we clench our fists. Donald Trump has turned our country into a battlefield riven by old resentments and fresh fears.
He thinks division helps him.
His narcissism has become more important than the nation’s well-being he leads.
I ask every American to look at where we are now, and think anew: Is this who we are? Is this who we want to be? Is this what we pass on to our kids’ and grandkids’ lives? Fear and finger-pointing rather than hope and the pursuit of happiness? Incompetence and anxiety? Self-absorption and selfishness?
Or do we want to be the America we know we can be. The America we know in our hearts we could be and should be.
Look, the presidency is a big job. Nobody will get everything right. And I won’t either.
But I promise you this. I won’t traffic in fear and division. I won’t fan the flames of hate.
I will seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued this country – not use them for political gain.
I’ll do my job and take responsibility. I won’t blame others. I’ll never forget that the job isn’t about me.
It’s about you.
And I’ll work to not only rebuild this nation. But to build it better than it was.
To build a better future. That’s what America does.
We build the future. It may in fact be the most American thing to do.
We hunger for liberty the way Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass did.
We thirst for the vote the way Susan B. Anthony and Ella Baker and John Lewis did. We strive to explore the stars, to cure disease, to make this imperfect Union as perfect as we can.
We may come up short — but at our best we try.
We are facing formidable enemies.
They include not only the coronavirus and its terrible impact on our lives and livelihoods, but also the selfishness and fear that have loomed over our national life for the last three years.
Defeating those enemies requires us to do our duty — and that duty includes remembering who we should be.

We should be the America of FDR and Eisenhower, of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., of Jonas Salk and Neil Armstrong.
We should be the America that cherishes life and liberty and courage.
Above all, we should be the America that cherishes each other – each and every one.
We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us. We are a nation enraged, but we cannot allow our rage to consume us. We are a nation exhausted, but we will not allow our exhaustion to defeat us.
As President, it is my commitment to all of you to lead on these issues — to listen. Because I truly believe in my heart of hearts, that we can overcome. And when we stand together, finally, as One America, we will rise stronger than before.
So reach out to one another. Speak out for one another. And please, please take care of each other.
This is the United States of America. And there is nothing we can’t do. If we do it together.