US President Donald Trump has said if looting continues in Minneapolis, then shooting will start.
In a tweet on Friday, President Trump said he had spoken to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and told him that “the Military is with him all the way”.
In a tweet thread that was flagged by Twitter, Trump said, “I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right.”
“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!”
In response, Twitter said Trump’s tweet violated its rules about glorifying violence.
“However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible,” the social media platform said.
….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
Floyd, 46, was killed by a police officer who used his knee on Floyd’s neck to pin him to the ground on Tuesday. His death sparked outrage and protests across the country, demonstrations that continued Thursday.
Governor Waltz said, “It is time to rebuild. Rebuild the city, rebuild our justice system, and rebuild the relationship between law enforcement and those they’re charged to protect. George Floyd’s death should lead to justice and systemic change, not more death and destruction.”
“Our state watched George Floyd’s humanity get erased. Our feelings of anger, anguish, and disillusionment are justified.”
Trump signed an order Thursday seeking to strip social media giants like Twitter of legal immunity for content on their platforms in a move slammed by his critics as a legally dubious act of political revenge.
The move comes a day after an angry tirade from the US leader against Twitter after the platform for the first time labelled two of his tweets, on the increasingly contentious topic of mail-in voting, with fact-check notices, calling them misleading.
“In those moments, Twitter ceases to be a neutral public platform and they become an editor with a viewpoint,” Trump said.