At the White House on Friday, May 29, 2020, Donald Trump said he had spoken to the family of George Floyd, the 46-year-old African American man who was killed during an arrest by police officers in Minneapolis this week.
“I just expressed my sorrow,” Trump said, adding “that was a horrible thing to witness” and saying it “looked like there was no excuse” for Floyd’s death.
But according to Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, the conversation did not go well, as he said Trump gave him little chance to express his views and appeared to have no interest in what he was trying to say.
“He didn’t give me an opportunity to even speak,” Floyd told MSNBC on Saturday. “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.’
“And I just told him, I want justice. I said that I couldn’t believe that they committed a modern-day lynching in broad daylight.”
The officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck has been charged with murder. Three other officers involved in the arrest have not yet been charged. Protests and riots have spread to many cities across the US.
Trump has been rebuked for responses which critics say have only increased tensions, including apparent threats to have looters shot and boasts about “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” awaiting protesters outside the White House.
Trump and the White House did not immediately comment on Philonise Floyd’s description of the call.
Joe Biden, Trump’s presumptive challenger in the presidential election in November, also spoke to the family and issued a video address in which he called for calm.
“I asked Vice-President Biden – I never had to beg a man before – but I asked him, could he please, please get justice for my brother,” Philonise Floyd said.
“I need it. I do not want to see him on a shirt just like the other guys. Nobody deserved that. Black folk don’t deserve that. We’re all dying.
“Black lives matter.”
The Guardian: George Floyd’s brother says Trump ‘kept pushing me off’ during phone call
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