LANSING, Mich. — During a phone call with state governors Monday, President Donald Trump demanded heavier crackdowns on looting and vandalism after some protests turned violent throughout the country. In this phone call, Trump called governors weak and declared that more arrests need to be made.
Following the death of George Floyd, hundreds of thousands have gathered in protests across the county in recent days to protest police brutality. While many of the protests have been peaceful, many have also become violent.
In Grand Rapids, a peaceful protest turned violent Saturday night, resulting in fires, graffiti and shattered windows. In other parts of the country, violent protests have resulted in injurys and arrests.
At a 3 p.m. press conference, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer reacted to the phone call and called for empathy, humanity and unity. Whitmer called the phone call “deeply disturbing.”
“Instead of offering support or leadership to bring down the temperature of protests, the president told governors to ‘put it down,’ or we’d ‘be overridden.’ He said governors should ‘dominate protesters,’ ‘or you’ll look like a bunch of jerks.’ That’s what he said to the nation’s governors a couple hours ago. He repeatedly and viciously attacked governors who are doing everything we can to keep the peace while we are working to save lives in a once-in-a-generation pandemic.”
Whitmer cited recent weeks as some of the hardest times the United States has ever gone through, but she believes Michiganders will get through it.
“I think these dangerous comments are gravely concerning because of the clear signal that they are determined to sow seeds of hatred and division in a time where we need to bring the temperature down,” Whitmer said. “This is a moment that calls for empathy and humanity and unity.”
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