Minneapolis, Minnesota’s Mayor Jacob Frey (D) condemned President Donald Trump’s meddling in his city’s proceedings this week after the president took to Twitter with a threat to send in the National Guard if the mayor couldn’t put a stop to violent protests that have unfolded in the city throughout recent nights. These protesters have turned out following the police murder of a black man named George Floyd — on Thursday night, the demonstrators stormed the police precinct where the officers behind Floyd’s death were based and set it on fire. Frey insisted this Friday that Trump was simply pettily finger-pointing rather than meaningfully engaging with the crisis.
Asked about the president’s remarks, Frey told reporters:
‘Let me say this, weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions. Weakness is pointing your finger at somebody else during a time of crisis. Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis. We are strong as hell. Is this a difficult time period? Yes, but you better be damned sure that we’re going to get through this.’
"Weakness is pointing your finger at somebody else, during a time of crisis. Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis."
— CNN International (@cnni) May 29, 2020
During his original Twitter meltdown, Trump called Frey a “very weak Radical Left Mayor” who needed to “get the job done” or the president would send in the National Guard. In a follow-up post, Trump seemed to actually encourage violence against the demonstrators, some of whom have turned to looting in the vicinity of the police precinct where the cops were based who murdered Floyd.
Trump posted on Twitter:
‘These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!’
….These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
Perhaps in light of the fact that the situation in Minneapolis has been rapidly developing in real time and the president’s tweet could have inspired some real violence perpetrated by his supporters, Twitter actually censored that post. They attached a note to the tweet reading:
‘This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible’
It’s incredible that amidst a major crisis breaking out in a major American city after police murdered a black man in broad daylight, the president of the United States has turned to “glorifying violence” on Twitter.
Separately, Trump has not exactly seemed to acknowledge the racism weighing on the Floyd situation; instead, he’s vaguely called for “justice.” Frey, in contrast, has commented:
‘If you’re feeling that sadness, that anger, it’s not only understandable, it’s right. It’s a reflection of the truth that our black community has lived. While not from lived experience, that sadness must also be understood by our non-black communities. To ignore it, to toss it out would be to ignore the values that we all claim to have, that are all the more important during a time of crisis.’
Frey himself ordered local cops to abandon the burned Minneapolis police precinct building as protesters closed in. The mayor insisted that he did not want to leave officers in harm’s way just in the name of the building. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz (D) has activated hundreds of National Guard troops.