Geraldo Rivera weighed in Friday on the riots that rocked Minneapolis, Minnesota for the third straight night.
As multiple buildings — including a police precinct and a construction site that was intended to be low-income housing — lay looted and burned to the ground, Rivera joined “Fox & Friends” to discuss the fallout. (RELATED: ‘They’ve Taken Their Best Kill Shot And Missed’: Geraldo Rivera Says Impeachment Is Doomed)
Host Steve Doocy began by showing video of buildings still smoldering, noting that over 100 structures had sustained damages. “What is going on in Minneapolis?” he asked.
“You know what’s happened, Steve? The awful video of this poor man being killed in this reckless and cruel way, the torture of George Floyd is now being replaced by the rape of the Third Precinct in Minneapolis,” Rivera replied, arguing that those who were looting and rioting were destroying the message they claimed to be promoting — the need for justice in the case of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who died in police custody Monday after an officer held him on the ground, pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck.
“They have defamed the memory of this stricken man, instead of the smug face of the officer with his knee on George’s neck killing him, eight long minutes. Instead, the image we have instead is an old lady in a wheelchair getting beaten up by two looters trying to steal her purse,” Rivera explained. “What you have is affordable housing being burnt to the ground, the Third Precinct being burned, minority-owned businesses being burned.”
Rivera went on to say that the community would take decades to recover from the riots — if recovery is even possible.
“I tell you the obscenity is that rather than thinking about that image of police brutality, rather than thinking of this poor man who’s the latest in a string of a really raw problem, an American problem that has to be confronted, what we think of instead is the smoke and the flames and the destruction of a community,” Rivera said again.
The veteran correspondent noted that he had been covering riots in the United States since Asbury Park in the early 1970s, saying that communities rocked by such riots often struggled to return to normal.
They shut down, they board up, they are abandoned, the tenants walk away, the landlords are busted,” Rivera said, adding, “This destruction that took three nights will take 30 years to repair and more than that, what it has done is deflect attention from what should have been one of the most egregious cases of police violence we have ever seen.”
Rivera concluded by saying again that the real tragedy was the fact that once this was over, no one would see the face of George Floyd or the “smug look” of the officer who knelt on his neck. What people would see, Rivera argued, was businesses and homes on fire and law enforcement laying down and allowing it to happen.
“My God, you’ve got to have people putting out the fires or stopping the fires and arresting looters. A guy throws a flaming object, arrest him. Someone else, you know, goes into a store and steals the ATM, arrest him,” Rivera explained. “To lay off the way they have is kind of a progressivism gone perverted. I just don’t understand it, this weak-kneed response to this and what it has done is to leave this indelible image of a community that has killed itself.”