ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — President Donald Trump’s tweets about the protests in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd in police custody drew some criticism Friday, after he called protestors “thugs” and tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan spoke on the President’s tweets Friday on TODAY saying, “inciting things and inflammatory rhetoric isn’t going to help.”
….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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
“I do believe that you’ve got to have law and order to we’ve got to stop the burning and looting, but inciting violence with Twitter is not the way to go about it,” Hogan added.
The governor also addressed comparisons being made between George Floyd’s death and the 2015 death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.
“I don’t think it’s a fair comparison,” Hogan said on TODAY. “The evidence here seems overwhelming and clear to me and you have a video of exactly what happened. However, the situation on the ground is reminiscent somewhat of the actions that took place afterwards.”
He said the priority of the President and leaders should be to lower the temperature and stop the violence by listening to the protesters.
During fourth night of unrest in Minneapolis, protesters burned the third police precinct. Other videos show looting, including of a Target downtown, on previous nights.
“Weakness is pointing the finger at someone else during a time of crisis. Donald J. Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis. We are strong as hell, and you better be damn sure we’re going to get through this!” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said.
About two-and-a-half hours after the president’s tweets, Twitter flagged the latter of the two, in which he wrote, of protests and riots in the Twin Cities, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
“This Tweet violates our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today,” Twitter officials said.