Trump hid in bunker as police used violence to suppress mass protests

Ed Sykes

Trigger warning: this article contains video footage of police brutality that some readers may find disturbing.

 

Donald Trump was rushed to a White House bunker on Friday by Secret Service agents as hundreds of people protesting the police murder of African-American civilian George Floyd gathered outside the mansion. This came as many thousands of people took to the streets around the US to protest against police brutality.

Trump spent nearly an hour in the bunker, which was designed for use in emergencies, according to a Republican close to the White House who was not authorised to publicly discuss it and spoke on condition of anonymity. The source’s account was confirmed by an administration official who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

Chants from protesters in Lafayette Park could be heard all weekend, and Secret Service agents and law enforcement officers struggled to contain the crowds.

The outrage following Floyd’s murder came just weeks after a video showed the lynching of another African American, Ahmaud Arbery, and after police in Louisville shot African American Breonna Taylor dead in her home in March.

Police response to protests over police brutality? More brutality…

There are currently curfews in many cities around the US, and thousands of National Guard troops have been deployed in at least 15 states.

Police officers around the US, meanwhile, have faced accusations of the very type of harsh and excessive treatment at the heart of the unrest – including against dozens of journalists.

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for example, an officer was suspended for pushing a kneeling woman to the ground during a protest; and two Atlanta officers were fired after smashing in the window of a car and using a stun gun on its two occupants:

In Los Angeles over the weekend, a police SUV accelerated into several protesters in a street, knocking two people to the ground. In New York, meanwhile, the police commissioner said about six incidents were being investigated by the department’s internal affairs bureau, including a weekend confrontation in Brooklyn in which two police vehicles appeared to plough through a group of protesters. In another incident, an officer pointed a gun at protesters, drawing condemnation from the mayor.

There are numerous further allegations of brutality too:

The scale of the protests has rivalled the historic demonstrations of the civil rights and Vietnam War eras. At least 4,400 people have been arrested.

America Protests Minneapolis
Protests have continued around the country including in Minneapolis, where Floyd died (John Minchillo/AP)

As one commentator tweeted sarcastically:

 

In hard-hit Minneapolis, meanwhile, thousands marching on a closed motorway were shaken when a tractor-trailer rolled into their midst. No serious injuries were reported, and the driver was arrested on suspicion of assault.

The officer responsible for Floyd’s death has now been charged with murder. But protesters are demanding that three other officers at the scene be prosecuted too. All four were fired.

Trump’s disinterest in unity

As cities burned night after night and images of violence dominated television coverage, Trump’s advisers discussed the prospect of an Oval Office address in an attempt to ease tensions. But the notion was quickly scrapped for lack of policy proposals and the president’s own seeming disinterest in delivering a message of unity. For example, he has worryingly turned the focus of his anger on anti-fascists (‘Antifa’):

During a conversation with state governors on 1 June, meanwhile, Trump reportedly urged them to “dominate” the people protesting.

With this kind of rhetoric, it seems unlikely that tensions in the US will go away any time soon.

Featured image and additional content via Press Association

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  • Show Comments
    1. The officer who murdered Floyd was only charged with a 3rd degree murder. A charge where if you fought someone and they fell to the ground striking their head on the pavement and died as a result. This was premeditated and a 1st degree murder and the other officers were complicit and should also be charged with 1st degree murder. There is a culture in the USA Police departments that unfettered violence is standard practice as they believe they have ultimate power and immunity from prosecution. Shooting people for no reason other than they were afraid. How about using a patrol car door as a shield when challenging someone who may have a weapon rather than emptying a clip into a black youth with a cell phone in his hand? ” Nah, we are immune to prosecution when using deadly force.”

      Police are in high schools as well and are adept in body slamming young girls who have acted out in the classroom. FFS what is wrong with these psychos. Again, it’s the culture.

      1. Geordiexpat you are right. This is what happens in a Fascist Police State. Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely as Lord Denning said. 3rd Degree murder won’t even net him a jail sentence. He clearly knew what he was doing and, when George Floyd was clearly unable to breath and communicating that, he continued to suffocate him with his knee in his neck. Now that’s murder in my book because he could have stopped and got medical help. His colleagues didn’t either and they too should be charged with conspiracy.

        On Skwawkbox there is a brilliant video clip of the Chief of Police in Houston on a TV interview who spoke absolute truth and said this wasn’t just about the murder of George Floyd it was about the unproportionality of the structure of american society. He said it was about food, about jobs, about poverty and other things. He told Trump if he couldn’t say anything constructive then to shut his mouth and say nothing. He also asked for the community to join with the Police to work together to change things and most of all, to vote, vote, vote and get Trump out. Now that’s what I call a responsible Chief of Police. Truth is rare these days.

        The USA bleat on about democracy but Apartheid and Racism is alive and well in a country that invades at will citing breaches of human rights.

        And yes, I saw that video of that young girl being body slammed by the police officer. It was violent and must have been incredibly frightening. He wasn’t charged with anything but, it turns out, he had been involved in three other racist incidents in which he assaulted, quite seriously in one case, a young black woman. He didn’t get charged with any of them.

    2. Amerika is the most aggressive country there is & was born with a gun in it’s hand. This has been their first option since 1775. There’s a US saying ‘Shoot fist, ask later’. The problem right now is the nutter in the White House & until he goes they’re stuck.

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