President Donald Trump said Friday at the White House that he spoke with family members of George Floyd, who died in Minnesota after a police officer detained him and knelt on his neck for several minutes.
“I spoke to members of the family, terrific people, and will be reporting as time goes by,” Trump said, calling the incident a “horrible, horrible, situation.”
Trump said that he continued to support the right of peaceful protests in reaction to Floyd’s death, but urged Americans to avoid looting and rioting.
“We can’t allow a situation like happened in Minneapolis to decend further into lawless anarchy and chaos,” Trump said.
He said that peaceful protest was important to the family and important to Floyd’s legacy.
“The looters should not be allowed to drown out the voices of so many peaceful protesters,” Trump said.
Trump said he was working with the Justice Department, local law enforcement, and officials to investigate the incident.
“Hopefully everything can be fairly taken care of,” he said. “I understand the hurt, I understand the pain, people have really been through a lot. The family of George is entitled to justice, and the people of Minnesota are entitled to live in safety.”
For three nights, Minneapolis experienced rioting, looting, and arson of area businesses and a police station.
But Trump indicated that another night of damaging riots was not tolerable.
“Law and order will prevail, Americans will honor the memory of George and the Floyd family,” Trump said.