CNN's Don Lemon: Trump 'contributed' to environment that led to George Floyd's deathby Joseph Wulfsohn
CNN anchor Don Lemon said Thursday that President Trump "contributed" to the environment that led to the death of 46-year-old Minneapolis man George Floyd earlier this week.
U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald addressed reporters on the investigation into the police brutality that resulted in Floyd's death on Monday and how her team has been updating President Trump and Attorney General William Barr. Lemon, however, had choice words for the administration amid the investigation.
"Nobody wants to hear from the White House or the attorney general right now. No one wants to hear from the man who wanted the death penalty to come back for the Central Park Five. No one wants to hear from the man who says that the former president was not born in this country. No one wants to hear from the man who said there are ‘very fine people on both sides.’ Do you understand what I am saying?" Lemon said to his colleague Wolf Blitzer.
"No one wants to hear from the person that they perceive as contributing to situations like this in this society -- not directly, but allowing people like that to think they can get away from this. No one wants to hear from the birther-in-chief, from the ‘sons of b----es’-calling person who says that athletes are kneeling for this very reason.”
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Lemon demanded "urgency" to the brutality black Americans face, as it has been expressed toward the protests and looting that broke out in Minneapolis over the past two days.
"Why don’t you have the same urgency that you have for all these people who are out there -- most of them protesting but there are some out there who are actually ravaging and pillaging or at least burning down stores. I don’t know if it’s by accident or what or who are going in and raiding stores and what have you. OK, fine, that should not happen," Lemon continued.
"But how about the urgency for telling people to ‘calm down and we need peace,’ that same urgency when it comes to people who are being abused by the system, who are being abused by police officers, who are experiencing racism in this country and people are denying it. Where is that urgency?"
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The "CNN Tonight" anchor then called for the White House to put out its own press release to let the American people know it's monitoring the situation, before he pivoted back to directing his comments at President Trump.
"I said what I said about this president and the environment that he has contributed to in this country. And that is the God's honest truth. That's how black people feel," Lemon told Blitzer. "The person who said from klansmen and racists and Nazis and anti-Semites that there were 'very fine people on both sides,' no one wants to hear that."
The protests in the Twin Cities were sparked by the death Floyd, a black man who died Monday after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes as he was being arrested.
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Video footage of the arrest went viral and showed Floyd telling the police officers, "I can't breathe," as passersby begged the officers to get off him. Moments later, his lifeless body was laying on the ground.
The four police officers involved with the arrest have been fired from the Minneapolis Police Department. Criminal charges have yet to be made but a federal investigation is underway.