United Kingdom

George Floyd death: Joe Biden slams Trump over tweets

Joe Biden on Friday slammed President Donald Trump for his handling of George Floyd's death after the black man died while in custody of white police officers.

The former vice president revealed he has spoken with Floyd's family and took issue with Trump's tweets on the matter, saying 'this is no time for incendiary tweets' or 'encourage violence.'

'The anger and frustration and the exhaustion is undeniable. That's not the promise of America. It's long past time that we made the promise of this nation real for all people. You know this is no time for incendiary tweets. It's no time to encourage violence. This is a national crisis we need real leadership right now. Leadership, that will bring everyone to the table,' Biden said in brief remarks Friday afternoon.

Joe Biden on Friday slammed President Donald Trump for his handling of George Floyd's death

Joe Biden took issue with President Trump's tweets on George Floyd's, saying 'this is no time for incendiary tweets' or 'encourage violence'

He said there was an open wound in America when it came to racism and it was time to heal that wound. 

'The original sin of this country still stains our nation today. And sometimes we managed to overlook it. We just push forward with 1000 other tasks in our daily life, but it's always there. Weeks like this, we see it plainly ever country with an open wound. None of us can turn away, none of us can be silent. None of us can any longer. Can we hear the words, I can't breathe do enough,' he said. 

'It's time for us to face that deep open wound. We have this nation. We need justice for George Floyd,' he added.

'We need to stand up as a nation with the black community with all minority communities, and come together as one American,' he said. 

'With our complacency, our silence, we are complicit in perpetuating these cycles of violence. Nothing about this will be easy or comfortable but if we simply allow this wound to scab over once more, without treating the underlying injury, we will never 'truly heal. The very soul of America is at stake,' he noted.

Biden slammed President Trump earlier Friday after the president threatened to send the National Guard to Minneapolis to 'assume control,' warning 'thugs' in the city that 'when the looting starts the shooting starts.'

'Enough,' Biden wrote on Twitter.

The presumptive Democratic nominee weighed in on the situation in Minnesota after protesters in Minneapolis set fire to a police station as a part of series of demonstrations throughout the country in support of George Floyd, the African American man who died when a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck.

'Enough' Joe Biden responded on twitter to President Donald Trump

President Trump saw one of his tweets muzzled after he threatened to send the National Guard to Minneapolis to 'assume control' of situation there

Law enforcement officers amassed along Lake Street near Hiawatha Ave. as fires burned after a night of unrest and protests

Biden also criticized the arrest of black CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez, who was detained by police and then later released, while reporting on the situation.

'This is not abstract: a black reporter was arrested while doing his job this morning, while the white police officer who killed George Floyd remains free. I am glad swift action was taken, but this, to me, says everything,' Biden wrote in a series of tweets.

He criticized President Trump for writing 'when the looting starts, the shooting starts,' -  a provocative statement that harkens back to race riots in Miami during the 1960s when violence was used against African Americans. Twitter muzzled Trump's tweet - but left it online in case people wanted to read it - because they said it 'violated Twitter rules about glorifying violence.'

'I will not lift the President’s tweet. I will not give him that amplification. But he is calling for violence against American citizens during a moment of pain for so many. I’m furious, and you should be too,' Biden wrote. 

It is not the first time that racial violence has prompted Biden to speak against President Trump. 

Biden launched his presidential campaign by condemning Trump's remarks on racially driven violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, during protest and counter protest rallies in 2017.

Trump declared there were 'very fine people on both sides' of the situation, initially sparked by a decision to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from a public park.

The resulting clashes between white supremacists who organized a rally and counter-protesters ended with a woman's death. Neo-Nazi James Fields was sentenced to life in prison in December for running over Heather Heyer with his car.

'You had some very bad people in that group. You also had some very fine people on both sides. ... I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of – to them – a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name,' the president said at the time.

The White House claimed then that Trump's praise was limited to people who showed up in Charlottesville to argue for preserving the Lee statue.

Biden criticized the remarks when he launched his presidential campaign in April 2017 and said one of the reasons he was running was because of Trump's handling of the incident.

'With those words the President of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it. And in that moment I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had ever seen in my lifetime,' he said. 

Minnesota State Police deploy in the city as protests continue

Biden criticized Trump for the president's response to racially motivated violence in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 and cited it as one of his reasons for running for president 

CNN reporter Omar Jimenez was arrested live on air Friday by Minnesota State police for apparently refusing to move when he'd been told to despite being heard on camera telling the cops 'tell us where you want us to go, we'll go wherever you want'

Biden has vowed to speak on the current situation, where dozens of businesses were looted or destroyed in Minneapolis after rioting broke out for the third consecutive night in the city in protest of Floyd's death.

The protests spread across the country with some peaceful and some violent. Denver, Phoenix, and Columbus, Ohio were among the cities showing their support for Floyd. 

Additionally, CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez was put in handcuffs and led away by police while reporting from Minneapolis.

According to one of his colleagues, the crew was told he was being arrested for refusing to move when he'd been told to but he was heard live on television telling the officers: 'Put us back to where you want us - wherever you'd want us we'll go. Just let us know.' 

Jimenez told them they were live on air with CNN and was put in handcuffs. 

He asked: 'Do you mind telling me why I am under arrest sir? Why am I under arrest sir' then was led away. 

Two of his colleagues from the same team were also arrested. The trio were put in a police van and were driven to a precinct but were released around 90 minutes later after CNN President Jeff Zucker and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz intervened. 

Twitter, meanwhile, flagged a tweet of President Trump for 'glorifying violence.'

'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!' the tweet read.

Twitter put a warning on the tweet less than three hours later, a move that came after the president designed an executive order seeking to strip social media companies of their legal protections, potentially exposing them to a flood of lawsuits.

Twitter said it muzzled Trump's tweet 'in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts'. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was informed in advance. 

The tweet can no longer be liked or replied to and will not be recommended by Twitter's algorithm, although retweets with comment are still possible - with Trump's message initially hidden. 

It is still possible to override the warning message and view the tweet, under special rules for government officials which protect the public's right to know what their politicians have said.  

After Twitter muzzled him, Trump had the official White House Twitter account post his words. Twitter flagged that tweet too. 


Once again — the words “I can’t breathe.”

An act of brutality so elemental, it did more than deny one more black man in America his civil rights and his human rights. It denied his very humanity. It denied him of his life.

Depriving George Floyd – as it deprived Eric Garner – of the one thing every human being must be able to do: Breathe.

So simple. So basic. So brutal.

The same thing happened with Ahmaud Arbery. The same with Breonna Taylor. The same thing with George Floyd.

We’ve spoken their names aloud. Cried them out in pain and horror. Chiseled them into long suffering hearts.

They are the latest additions to an endless list of lives stolen--potential wiped out unnecessarily.

It’s a list that dates back more than 400 years: black men, black women, black children.

The original sin of this country still stains our nation today.

Sometimes we manage to overlook it, and just push forward with the thousand other tasks of daily life. But it’s always there.

And weeks like this, we see it plainly.

We are a country with an open wound.

None of us can turn away.

None of us can be silent.

None of us any longer can hear those words — “I can’t breathe” — and do nothing.

We cannot fall victim to what Martin Luther King called the “appalling silence of the good people.”

Every day, African Americans go about their lives with constant anxiety and trauma, wondering — who will be next?

Imagine if every time your husband or son, wife or daughter, left the house, you feared for their safety from bad actors and bad police.

Imagine if you had to have that talk with your child about not asserting their rights — and taking the abuse handed out to them — just so they could make it home.

Imagine having the police called on you – for just sitting in Starbucks or renting an Airbnb or watching birds.

That is the norm for black people in this nation — they don’t have to imagine it.

The anger and the frustration and the exhaustion — it’s undeniable.

But that is not the promise of America.

And it is long past time we made the promise of this nation real for all people.

This is no time for incendiary tweets. This is no time to encourage violence.

This is a national crisis, and we need real leadership right now.

Leadership that will bring everyone to the table so we can take measures to root out systemic racism.

It’s time for us to take a hard look at uncomfortable truths.

It’s time for us to face the deep, open wound we have in this nation.

We need justice for George Floyd.

We need real police reform that holds all cops up to the high standards that so many of them actually meet — that holds bad cops accountable, and that repairs the relationship between law enforcement and the community they are sworn to protect.

And we need to stand up as a nation — with the black community, and with all minority communities — and come together as one America.

That’s the challenge we face.

And it will require those of us who sit in positions of influence to finally deal with the abuse of power.

The pain is too immense for one community to bear alone.

It is the duty of every American to grapple with it — and grapple with it now.

With our complacency, our silence — we are complicit in perpetuating these cycles of violence.

Nothing about this will be easy or comfortable. But if we simply allow this wound to scab over once more, without treating the underlying injury — we will never truly heal.

The very soul of America is at stake.

We must commit, as a nation, to pursue justice with every ounce of our being. We have to pursue it with real urgency. We have to make real the American promise, which we have never fully grasped: That all men and women are not only equal at creation, but throughout their lives. 

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