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In an interview with TMZ Live that aired Thursday, Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) — who has been calling for the removal of President Trump since his first days in office — suggested that the president was partly to blame for the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died after an officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes after subduing him, an action caught on video that soon went viral.
Floyd died Monday after being arrested on suspicion of forgery. The disturbing video of his forceful arrest, which shows Floyd’s body going still after he repeatedly told officers that he “can’t breathe,” inspired massive backlash nationwide. Riots have since broken out in Minneapolis, resulting in looting, damage to private property, and conflicts between police and rioters.
In her interview with TMZ, Rep. Waters partly blamed Trump for the tragic death at the center of all the chaos.
“My first thought was: ‘Not again, not one more killing,’” said the California congresswoman. “And I’m reflecting on all of the killings of young black men, in particular, but of course black women, too — at the hands of the police and at the hands of these white supremacists.”
“And I’m thinking about the way that the president conducts himself,” she declared. “In a way he’s dog-whistling, and I think that they’re feeling that they can get away with this kind of treatment.”
“And I’m just so sorry about the loss of another life,” added Waters.
In response to the TMZ Live hosts noting that the officers saw people taking cell phone footage of the incident, yet continued to keep the man forcefully subdued “for eight minutes,” Waters said, “I think that the officer who had his knee on his neck enjoyed doing what he was doing.”
“I believe sometimes some of these officers leave home thinking, ‘I’m gonna get me one today,’” she continued. “And I think this is his one that he got today, and he didn’t care whether or note anyone was photographing him. He did what he was doing.”
The Democrat then condemned the other three officers who were involved in the arrest, declaring them “just as guilty.”
“The officers who just stood there and watched him are just as guilty as he is,” she said. “I’m glad that all of them were fired. If you have, in fact, subdued a suspect, and you’re not in any danger at all because the handcuffs are on him, there’s no reason for the police to do what these police did. And they don’t even mention in the report that the knee was on the neck of George Floyd.”
She then praised the witnesses who documented the shocking incident. “You give them the right, they would say, to shoot you if you interfere with an arrest. So it’s dangerous,” she said. “And citizens are doing the best job that they can do by photographing it. They’re photographing, they’re showing what is taking place.”
In conclusion, Waters suggested that America’s justice system “does not work” for minorities. “What we’re finding is that the justice system does not work,” she said. “Because the justice system will find a way to protect those officers in most cases. They will find justifiable homicide. And that is what we’ve got to deal with. We’ve got to deal with we’re in America with a justice system that does not work for everybody.”
As The Daily Wire Reported, the president announced Wednesday that he had ordered the FBI and the Justice Department to investigate the situation and assured Americans that “justice will be served.”
“At my 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,” Trump tweeted. “I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement. My heart goes out to George’s family and friends. Justice will be served!”
….I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement. My heart goes out to George’s family and friends. Justice will be served!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2020