President Donald Trump called on the Justice Department to expedite its investigation into the killing of George Floyd on Friday, saying he had already spoken with the victim’s family.
“Our nation’s deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to the family of George Floyd,” Trump said at the beginning of a White House roundtable event.”It’s a terrible thing. We all saw what we saw … and it’s very hard to conceive of anything other than what we did see.” (RELATED: Trump Vows ‘George Floyd Will Not Have Died In Vain’ As National Guard Arrives In Minneapolis)
The comments came hours after Minnesota law enforcement announced the arrest of Derek Chauvin on charges of third degree murder and manslaughter. Video of Chauvin pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck caused riots and looting to erupt in Minneapolis, with several police precinct and several other buildings going up in flames. (RELATED: ‘This Is Mostly A Protest’: MSNBC’s Ali Velshi Says Riots Aren’t Unruly As Building Burns Behind Him)
Chauvin’s charges carry a sentence of up to 25 years in prison, according to NBC. Footage of the incident shows three other officers standing by as Chauvin was on top of Floyd, and authorities are currently looking into charges against them as well.
Trump came under fire Friday morning over tweets which critics said called for law enforcement to shoot looters, but Trump later clarified the statement, saying he was not calling on authorities to shoot looters, but only stating that looting makes a situation more dangerous.
The unrest in Minneapolis is ongoing.