Below is a transcript of the President’s remarks about his conversation with the family of George Floyd, the arrest of the police officer and how violence against innocent citizens by Antifa and other rioters will be dealt with.
“Before going further on this exciting day for all America in space, I want to say a few words about the situation in Minnesota. The death of George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis was a grave tragedy. It should never have happened. It has filled Americans all over the country with horror, anger, and grief.
Yesterday, I spoke to George’s family and expressed the sorrow of our entire nation for their loss. I stand before you as a friend and ally to every American seeking justice and peace. And I stand before you in firm opposition to anyone exploiting this tragedy to loot, rob, attack, and menace. Healing, not hatred; justice, not chaos are the mission at hand. (Applause.)
The police officers involved in this incident have been fired from their jobs. One officer has already been arrested and charged with murder. State and federal authorities are carrying out an investigation to see what further charges may be warranted, including against, sadly, the other three.
In addition, my administration has opened a civil rights investigation, and I have asked the Attorney General and the Justice Department to expedite it.
VIDEO: President Trump speaks about George Floyd and rioters
I understand the pain that people are feeling. We support the right of peaceful protesters, and we hear their pleas. But what we are now seeing on the streets of our cities has nothing to do with justice or with peace.
The memory of George Floyd is being dishonored by rioters, looters, and anarchists. The violence and vandalism is being led by Antifa and other radical left-wing groups who are terrorizing the innocent, destroying jobs, hurting businesses, and burning down buildings.
The main victims of this horrible, horrible situations are the citizens who live in these once lovely communities. The mobs are devastating the life’s work of good people and destroying their dreams. Right now, America needs creation, not destruction; cooperation, not contempt; security, not anarchy. And there will be no anarchy. Civilization must be cherished, defended, and protected. The voices of law-abiding citizens must be heard, and heard very loudly.
We cannot and must not allow a small group of criminals and vandals to wreck our cities and lay waste to our communities. We must defend the rights of every citizen to live without violence, prejudice, or fear.
We support the overwhelming majority of police officers who are incredible in every way and devoted public servants. They keep our cities safe, protect our communities from gangs and drugs, and risk their own lives for us every day.
No one is more upset than fellow law enforcement officers by the small handful who fail to abide by their oath to serve and protect. My administration will stop mob violence and will stop it cold.
It does not serve the interests of justice or any citizen of any race, color, or creed for the government to give into anarchy, abandon police precincts, or allow communities to be burned to the ground. It won’t happen.
Those making excuses or justifications for violence are not helping the downtrodden, but delivering new anguish and new pain.
From day one of my administration, we have made it a top priority to build up distressed communities and revitalize our crumbling inner cities.
We fought hard with Senator Tim Scott and many others to create Opportunity Zones, helping to draw a surge of new investment to the places in our country that need it most. We must all work together as a society to expand opportunity and to create a future of greater dignity and promise for all of our people. We must forge a partnership with community leaders, local law enforcement, and the faith community to restore hope.
Radical-left criminals, thugs, and others all throughout our country and throughout the world will not be allowed to set communities ablaze. We won’t let it happen. It harms those who have the least. And we will be protecting those who have the least.
The leadership of the National Guard and the Department of Justice are now in close communication with state and city officials in Minnesota. And we’re coordinating our efforts with local law enforcement all across our nation.
In America, justice is never achieved at the hands of an angry mob. I will not allow angry mobs to dominate. It won’t happen. It is essential that we protect the crown jewel of American democracy: the rule of law and our independent system of justice. Every citizen in every community has the right to be safe in their workplace, safe in their homes, and safe in our city streets.
This is the sacred right of all Americans that I am totally determined to defend and will defend. My administration will always stand against violence, mayhem, and disorder.
VIDEO: Trump announces Federal Investigation of police officers
We will stand with the family of George Floyd with the peaceful protesters and with every law-abiding citizen who wants decency, civility, safety, and security.
We are working toward a more just society, but that means building up, not tearing down; joining hands, not hurling fists; standing in solidarity, not surrendering to hostility.
Moments ago, as we witnessed the launch of two great American astronauts into space, we were filled with the sense of pride and unity that brings us together as Americans. That same spirit which powered our astronauts to the Moon has also helped lift our country to ever greater heights of justice and opportunity throughout our history.
So today, as we mark a renewed commitment to America’s future in space, a tremendous commitment it is. Let us also commit to a brighter future for all of our citizens right here on Earth.”
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice