Donald Trump is the worst person imaginable to be leading our country in these tumultuous times. The man who catapulted himself into the White House on a tide of white grievances and overt racism is now tasked with guiding the United States through a national conversation about police brutality and the unjust disproportionate targeting of people of color by our criminal justice system. So far, he has not just failed miserably, he’s actively made things worse.
The president’s call for law enforcement to “dominate” the streets went hand-in-hand with a shocking campaign of police brutality against lawful, peaceful protestors. As if that weren’t enough, he had demonstrators tear-gassed and attacked to clear a path for himself to visit a church for a photo op.
Perhaps worst of all, he openly fantasized about sending in the National Guard to shoot American civilians in Minneapolis, saying that “when the shooting starts, the looting starts.” He tried to explain away the chilling remarks in a new interview with Harris Faulkner of Fox News, but ended up making things worse by invoking infamously racist former Philadelphia police commissioner and mayor Frank Rizzo.
But even that wasn’t the full extent of Trump’s odious comments during his conversation with Faulkner. At one point, he defended the use of chokeholds by police officers, a tactic that has been banned in many cities and which has resulted in numerous deaths.
“I think the concept of chokehold sounds so innocent, so perfect. And then you realize, if it’s a one-on-one. Now if it’s two-on-one, that’s a little bit a different story. Depending. Depending on the toughness and strength, you know, we’re talking about toughness and strength,” said Trump.
“We are talking… There’s a physical thing here also but if a police officer is in a bad scuffle and he’s got somebody in a chokehold…” he went on.
“If it’s a one-one-one fight for the life,” interjected Faulkner.
“And that does happen, that does happen. You have to be careful,” said Trump, demonstrating far more concern for a police officer’s ability to use excessive force than the often deadly results of that force.
One struggles to imagine a more tone-deaf message in this moment. The country is crying out for better policing and less violence, and Trump is putting his foot down firmly on the side of brutality. Sane Americans already had a million reasons to vote him out in November, now we have a million and one.
Trump on police chokeholds: “I think the concept of chokeholds sounds so innocent and so perfect.” pic.twitter.com/3NbyFwX26R
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 12, 2020
We want to hear what YOU have to say. Scroll down and let us know in our NEW comment section!