Trump said he couldn’t watch the full video recording of George Floyd being detained: ‘Who could watch that?’
On Wednesday, Trump went on Fox News to discuss police reform. During the interview, Trump admitted that he couldn’t get through the entire video footage of George Floyd getting detained by the police.
“The George Floyd case, nothing has to be said. I watched that. I couldn’t really watch it for that long a period of time, it was over eight minutes. Who could watch that?” Trump stated.
The video recording is horrifying and heartbreaking. It’s what ultimately ignited a country-wide outcry against police brutality and systemic racism and call for real, actionable change.
As we know, the video shows police officer, Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes. Floyd, an unarmed Black man, then begins begging for his life, telling the officer he can’t breathe. Floyd, who starts to lose consciousness, calls for his mother. Even though Floyd becomes unresponsive, Chauvin continues to kneel on his neck.
This is far from the first time Trump has made inappropriate and insensitive statements, but it’s still shocking, nonetheless, to watch the President of the United States claim that it’s too difficult for him to watch a video of a Black man facing police brutality, something that happens way too often in our current legal system.
People have responded to Trump’s statement about his inability to watch the video, with one user writing, “@realDonaldTrump says, ‘Who could watch that?’ If Trump felt squeamish having to watch it for that long, imagine how the person who was having it happen to them felt.”
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Another tweeted: “A real President would watch the tape and address any concern about the Nature of Police Brutality in the country right on.”
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According to CNN, Trump has yet to visit Minneapolis, let alone speak with Black activists and protesters who are calling for justice. Trump hasn’t even visited the grieving Floyd family. Apparently, Trump spoke with the family over the phone, but Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, stated that their conversation was “brief and one-sided.”
“He didn’t give me an opportunity to even speak. It was hard. I was trying to talk to him, but he just kept, like, pushing me off, like, ‘I don’t want to hear what you’re talking about,” Philonise said.
It's been 3 weeks since George Floyd was murdered by police. Trump has yet to visit Minneapolis, meet with civil rights/BLM activists, take any steps on policies or healing the nation. In short, he has done nothing but cower inside, amid the broadest protests in half a century.
— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) June 15, 2020
Later during the interview with Fox News, Trump states that Chauvin “has some big problems,” adding, “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.”
But what exactly is Trump doing as a response to recent outrage over police brutality against the Black community? Trump signed an executive order on police reform on Tuesday, which, according to The Hill, “prioritizes federal funding for police departments that embrace de-escalation tactics, including a ban on chokeholds outside of instances where an officer’s life is in danger, and improves the government’s ability to track officers with a history of excessive force complaints.” However, many felt that this order “fell short” of expectations from activists involved in Black Lives Matter, many of whom have called for “deep funding cuts to police departments.”
While it’s true that we’re making some progress, the concern that many people have about Trump’s lack of empathy and understanding is totally valid.