President Donald Trump said Friday at the Whtie House that the death of George Floyd was a “terrible insult” to police officers in America.
“We also know that most policemen … you see the great job they do. This was a terrible insult to police and policemen,” he said.
The president commented on Floyd’s death and the protests and rioting that followed after a roundtable with business leaders about the progress in reopening the country after the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump said he spoke with members of Floyd’s family earlier Friday and said he was disturbed by the video of Floyd’s death that was captured by bystanders.
“Just a terrible thing. He was in tremendous pain obviously and couldn’t breathe,” Trump said. “It’s very obvious to anybody that watched it, it was a very very sad thing for me to see that.”
The actions taken by the police officer in Minneapolis, Trump said, were very difficult to watch, but he reminded reporters that most police officers were professionals.
“We all have to say, and I think most people would admit, that most of the policemen and women that I’ve seen have been outstanding,” he said.
He acknowledged to reporters that he was aware of stories of police brutality but suggested they were isolated cases.
“Our police have been very outstanding, our crime rates are way down in this country, the police has done a great job,” he said.
The president said he supported peaceful protests in the memory of George Floyd, but that the rioting got out of hand.
“That’s so bad in so many different ways, and it’s so unfortunate,” Trump said.
Trump said there were “a lot of different people and a lot of good people too” protesting Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on recent nights.
“Yeah you had a lot of people out there that were protesting out of sorrow and then you had people that got out of control,” he said. “Some people. I think they did a great disservice to their state and to their city and really our country, what they did last night.”
Trump said that Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was unprepared for the violence, but the National Guard would help restore order in the city.
“That won’t happen again, it can’t happen again, we can never let that happen again,” Trump said.
“They will be very prepared tonight,” he added.