By now, you have likely seen the terrible Memorial Day video of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of a black man and ignoring his pleas for help, killing him. The video is disturbing, and everyone should be troubled by it. Our hearts and prayers are with the Floyd family.
Today, Officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with third degree murder. Here are some additional points to consider.
- Understandably and appropriately, there were demonstrations in Minneapolis after the video of Floyd's arrest became public. That is what should happen in a free society where people have the right to speak out against injustice.
- Sadly, the legitimate demonstrations were hijacked by criminal and radical elements in Minneapolis, of which there are many. The city is a hotbed of anarchist groups and radical Islamic groups. There is a huge problem with Somali gangs. Extremists with a "hate America agenda" are exploiting this terrible incident in order to bring down civil order.
- As one media outlet put it, the rioters were so outraged by police brutality that they stole air fryers and clothing. They attacked a school. They also attacked a disabled woman in a wheelchair, claiming she "deserved it." Is this "justice"? I don't think it is a stretch to suggest that very few of the looters and rioters care a whit about George Floyd or the injustice that was done to him.
- In America's cities and urban centers, it is extremely important for state and local officials to be responsible and not stoke the fires that could lead to more violence. The far-left leadership of Minneapolis has done the exact opposite. Mayor Frey immediately gave it a racial narrative, tweeting about a "white officer pressing his knee into a black man's neck." I am not defending the officer's conduct, but we have no idea whether race played any role in the incident.
- When rioting and looting broke out on the first night, it was clear that police had been ordered to stand down. Meanwhile, others have thrown rhetorical gasoline on the flames. Colin Kaepernick seemingly called for vigilante justice, tweeting that "revolting was the only logical reaction." No it's not! He added that "cries for peace" will "land on deaf ears."
- Not to be outdone, rapper Ice Cube tweeted, "How long will we go for Blue on Black Crime before we strike back?" How many more innocent deaths would satisfy Cube and Kaepernick? That's not what Martin Luther King, Jr. sacrificed his life for.
- When authorities in St. Paul offered to send police reinforcements to Minneapolis, left-wing members of the St. Paul city council said they would stop even one officer from going to Minneapolis. Last night, the rioting spread to St. Paul.
- Governor Walz called out the National Guard yesterday, but last night's rioting was worse. How can that be? When the mob attacked the Third Precinct police headquarters, the mayor ordered police to abandon the precinct. The building was burned.
- More than 170 businesses all over the area, many minority owned, have been ransacked and destroyed. Just a few weeks ago, if you opened your business against the state's stay at home order, you were arrested. But if you burn a business, you're called a "protestor."
- This passive strategy was the same misguided policy that was used in Baltimore several years ago. It did not end the rioting quickly enough, and only guaranteed that businesses would be hesitant to invest in Baltimore. By the way, Mayor Frey is now asking the protestors to practice social distancing and to wear masks.
- Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett blamed President Trump's rhetoric and repeated the vile Charlottesville lie. What is happening in Minneapolis has nothing to do with Donald Trump. The president said he was "shocked" by the video. He ordered the FBI and Justice Department to expedite its investigation of Floyd's death.
- As I have noted, Minneapolis is a Democrat city from top to bottom. It's not "MAGA country." If there is systematic racism in Minneapolis, the city's progressive leaders have a lot to answer for.
- Riots also broke out in Louisville, Kentucky, last night, another Democrat stronghold, over an unrelated incident that occurred weeks ago, just as the Covid pandemic erupted.
- For the record, there is no pandemic of racist police shootings. Research shows that "white officers are no more likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot black civilians." But the media seem to only focus on certain incidents that fit the progressive anti-police, anti-America narrative.
- Also for the record, President Trump led efforts to reform the criminal justice system, giving second chances to many minorities in prison like Alice Marie Johnson.
- President Trump urged Mayor Frey to get control of the situation and protect the city's residents. He later tweeted, "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. . . when the looting starts, the shooting starts." Twitter put a warning label on the president's tweet saying it "glorified violence." The president is trying to stop the violence, like the man who was shot in Minneapolis or the seven people shot in Louisville. By the way, Kaepernick's tweet that seemed to threaten violence didn't get a warning.
- At a press conference today, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison told protestors not to confuse the National Guard, who a week ago were administering Covid tests, with the Minneapolis police, which he implied was an "occupying military force." So while supposedly trying to calm things down, Ellison disparaged the very police officers who are putting their lives on the line trying to regain control of the streets.
- Ellison also took issue with President Trump for calling the rioters and looters "thugs." The liberal black mayor of Baltimore called rioters "thugs," and had to apologize. Even Barack Obama has used the word "thugs."
- Ellison's criticism tells you everything you need to know about what bedevils Minneapolis. When you can't make a judgment about violence and lawlessness, you're getting right to the heart of why there are problems in America's urban areas. These thugs are burning businesses, robbing banks and, at least in one case, attacked a disabled woman. These are barbaric actions! They aren't Boy Scouts, folks.
- If you're looking for someone's whose rhetoric may be responsible for this violence, look no further than Rep. Ilhan Omar. Much of this violence is taking place in her district. While Omar is calling for calm now, like Ellison she has repeatedly trashed America as racist and evil.
- And just when you think we have reached peak progressive insanity, along comes Michael Moore, who tweeted this gem: "Good citizens burning down the evil police precinct in MN after all police were out & safe. . . Police HQ must be demolished by the city tomorrow as a show of contrition to black America."
Confronting Communist China
Moments ago, President Trump announced that the United States was formally withdrawing from the World Health Organization, due to the organization's malfeasance in helping China to cover up the danger from Covid-19 and for refusing to make any serious reforms.
The president also said that the United States will take steps to end Hong Kong's preferential trade treatment as a result of Beijing "smothering Hong Kong's freedom" in violation of its treaty obligations.
Trump said that the administration would suspend visas to Chinese students and researchers who have been identified as potential security risks. And he is also ordering administration officials to ensure that Chinese companies traded on American financial markets are fully transparent, an important step to protect U.S. investors.