Amnesty International on Monday night blasted President Donald Trump after the American leader promised to use force against mostly peaceful protesters demonstrating across the country following the murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Speaking on Monday from the White House Rose Garden, President Trump announced a crackdown on nationwide anti-racism protests.
His words were so surreal, it seemed he was referring to Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria after the mass kidnap of the Chibok girls in April 2014.
[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]
As he spoke in the White House, police flash-bang explosions could be heard nearby as they faced protesters with hands up chanting “hands up, don’t shoot”.
He mentioned George Floyd, the black man murdered by a white cop, only in passing, and focused the rest of his speech on law and order, and the police response, ignoring the brutality that many police officers have subjected peaceful protesters to, including journalists.
He said he would mobilize “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.” and called on governors across the country to deploy the National Guard, vowing to deploy the U.S. military if states refused to comply.
Condemnation was swift. Amnesty International expressed outrage over the comments and said “the violence that can no longer be ignored is the violence committed against Black lives by the police.”
Ernest Coverson, the End Gun Violence campaign manager at Amnesty International USA said: “The violence that can no longer be ignored is the violence committed against Black lives by the police. The real disgrace is the anti-Black racism of the Trump administration.The President swore an oath to the nation to protect all of its people – not just those he deems worthy.
“The time for justice has passed for George Floyd, his children, and his loved ones. The possibility for justice was taken away the day that he was killed. All that remains is accountability – and accountability has been absent from an administration that continues to fan the flames of hate.
“People are angry. People are exhausted. They have a right to take to the streets and peacefully protest – everyone has that right. The rights of the many to take to the streets and demand justice and comprehensive police reform cannot be trampled upon, for any reason. No longer can police be allowed to run rampant and terrorize our communities. Law enforcement exists to work for the people – but it only seems to work for some. Black lives matter. Trans Black lives matter. Black immigrant lives matter. Black asylum-seeker lives matter. Sending in the military to respond to a peaceful revolution has been the only action this administration has taken. What’s been absent is a legitimate attempt to change a system that does not work for Black people, but directly oppresses them.
“The U.S. system of policing is broken and needs systemic reform to root out racism and radically change its approach to law enforcement and human rights. Amnesty International USA is calling for a number of reforms, including passage of the PEACE Act to limit the use of deadly force, which should only ever be used as a last resort. When real reforms take place, only then will it send a message to Black people that their lives matter and our Black communities can live in safety, justice and freedom.”