Trump Warns Minneapolis Protesters: “When the Looting Starts, the Shooting Starts”

Twitter flagged the tweets for “glorifying violence” but let them remain published.

John Minchillo/AP

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As fires raged across Minneapolis in response to the death of George Floyd, President Trump on Friday labeled protesters demanding justice  “thugs” and warned that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” He also lashed out at Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, whom he called “very weak.”

Trump’s late-night threat came as protesters set fire to the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct building, the base for the officers involved in Floyd’s killing on Monday. Shortly after, Twitter flagged Trump’s tweets for violating the company’s rules but determined that they should remain on the site out of public interest.

“Weakness is pointing your finger at somebody else during a time of crisis,” Frey said at a press conference responding to the president’s attack. “Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis. We are strong as hell. Is this a difficult time period? Yes, but you better be damn sure that we’re going to get through this.”

Thursday marked the third night of protests after a graphic video showed Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, pinning Floyd to the ground while kneeling on his neck during an arrest. “Please, I can’t breathe,” Floyd is heard pleading in the recording. The four police officers involved in Floyd’s death were swiftly fired and protesters are now demanding criminal charges be brought against Chauvin.

Floyd’s words, “I can’t breathe,” have since become an all too familiar rallying cry for protesters in Minneapolis and cities across the country.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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