On Monday in the city of Minneapolis, George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man was killed by police officer Derek Chauvin. Floyd was handcuffed to the ground and detained for allegedly attempting to use a counterfeit bill to pay for food. Chauvin, a white police officer, stuck his knee onto Floyd’s neck. Floyd repeatedly said that he could not breathe and complained of pain before falling unconscious. Later, Floyd was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Chauvin, who is now terminated from the Minneapolis Police Department, has been arrested and charged with 3rd-degree murder and manslaughter against Floyd. If convicted, Chauvin can face up to 25 years in prison. Yet another killing of an unarmed black man has caused outrage across the country and the world. All over the United States, there have been protests, some of which have become violent, seeking justice.
President Donald Trump posted a tweet condemning the riots, stating that he will not allow any sort of looting or rioting.
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…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
Later, Trump continued. In a tweet that has been hidden by the platform due to it “glorifying violence,” Trump stated that “…when the looting starts, the shooting starts…” Sparking more outrage, as Trump has been accused of threatening violence against rioters and weaponizing the fear of black individuals getting shot and killed by police officers.
….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
A lot of musicians have taken to social media to show their disgust with this situation. The outrage began when the initial video that was filmed by a bypasser showing Floyd’s killing circulated across the internet. Now, ex-officer Chauvin has been arrested and charged, and Trump tweeted out an aggressive response. With all this, social media has become a firestorm of condemnation and anger.
Country-pop musician Taylor Swift tweeted directly to Trump, stating: “After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence? ‘When the looting starts the shooting starts’??? We will vote you out in November.”
Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello quoted a tweet from The Associated Press, which indicated that Chauvin “knelt” on Floyd’s knee, which Morello called out. He stated: “Who knelt on”? “WHO KNELT ON”?! Hmm. What other verb might go there? #LiberalPress” Additionally, hip hop duo Atmosphere, rapper Dessa and record producer Lazerbeak are all from Minneapolis and have shared their thoughts on this situation taking place in their hometown.
“the rage is different this time”
shout out @UR_Ninja for live coverage.
the 3rd precinct is on fire.https://t.co/dp7FVysd5Q
— ATMOSPHERE (@atmosphere) May 29, 2020
To friends outside of Minneapolis checking in on your people, thanks. The fury and pain are larger than they look on TV. You can write County Attorney Mike Freeman’s office, asking that charges be brought against officers Chauvin and Thao at firstname.lastname@example.org
— Dessa (@dessadarling) May 29, 2020
— LAZERBEAK (@_LAZERBEAK_) May 27, 2020
Iconic punk rock label ANTI- also tweeted out a response, stating that they condemn the killing of Floyd.
— ANTI RECORDS (@AntiRecords) May 29, 2020
Pop band Polica also tweeted out a response, changing their profile picture to one of a drawing of Geroge Floyd.
— POLIÇA (@thisispolica) May 29, 2020
Atmosphere later tweeted that: “I love this city and I’m very scared that the cops are gonna kill people tonight…I don’t trust this.” With the rioting, there have been many buildings and businesses that have been subject to damage and looting. One, in particular, was a Minneapolis Target. Many people have been divided on this, as some individuals condemn the looting. Hip hop artist Open Mike Eagle had a statement regarding this and tweeted that: “say out loud that you got more in common with a Target than you do with a dead black man so you can hear how bad it sounds”
Rock group Uniform also took to Twitter, stating that: “George Floyd murdered on camera from multiple angles. Cops filed objectively false statement about time/manner of death. District attorney hesitant to file charges. Protestors doing only thing that makes sense in insane situation. System fucked. Burn down. Start from scratch.”
Singer-songwriter Zola Jesus tweeted that “the murderers who took the life of george floyd must be put in jail” and later added that: “george floyd literally did NOTHING wrong. he was killed over suspicion of using counterfeit money?! are you fucking kidding me?! this is utter police brutality. @MinneapolisPD — put your murderous, racist cops behind bars where they belong. they are the true criminals.” She continued: “police stations burning, journalists arrested, civilians killed by police, a pandemic out of control, 40 million jobless, the american president creating chaos with every tweet. people should be angry. welcome to the collapse of a civilization.”
Musician and actress Janelle Monae took to twitter and stated: “When will the majority of protests & outrage be led by white people & police officers everywhere? These are your people killing us. Why are OUR voices & outrage LOUDER THAN YOURS during these times? WE DIDN’T DO THIS. I’m tired of US HAVING TO DO THE WORK YOU SHOULD BE DOING.” Additionally, Green Day frontman Billie Joel Armstrong took to Instagram, posting a screenshot of a Black Lives Matter tweet.
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