Politics

‘Peaceful Demonstrators Have Been Hijacked’: McConnell Blasts Those Rioting Across The Country

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
Font Size:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell weighed in Monday on the riots and looting that have been ongoing since the death of George Floyd.

In a speech on the Senate floor, McConnell condemned the acts of violence and crimes being committed all throughout the country after Floyd was killed while in police custody after an officer put his knee into the back of his neck for over five minutes while he was handcuffed and on the ground.

“Citizens have watched with horror as cities across America have convulsed with looting, riots, and destruction. On a nightly basis initially peaceful demonstrators have been hijacked. Americans have watched protests dedicated to ending unjust violence mutate into riots that inflict unjust violence themselves,” McConnell said in his speech.

“We have seen small businesses destroyed and public property defaced. We have seen the men and women of law enforcement — the vast majority of whom are not bad actors, but brave public servants — threatened and assaulted on our own streets. Free speech and peaceful protest are central American liberties. Looting, rioting, assault, and arson are violent crimes that have no place whatsoever in our society,” he said.

McConnell also mentioned St. John’s church, which is directly across the street from the White House. Rioters set the church on fire Sunday night.

“It is not a display of courageous citizenship to smash and destroy small businesses that had just barely hung on through this pandemic. It is not an act of principled protest to grab expensive merchandise or set fire to a church. It does not advance freedom or justice to vandalize the World War II Memorial that stands for those who bled and died for exactly those values,” McConnell continued.

U.S. President Donald Trump, right, arrives for a Senate Republican policy luncheon with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. Trump last week intended to reverse sanctions imposed on two Chinese shipping companies accused of violating North Korea trade prohibitions, until officials in his administration persuaded him to back off and then devised a misleading explanation of his vague tweet announcing the move. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Donald Trump, right, arrives for a Senate Republican policy luncheon with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“You do not advance peace by committing assault. You do not advance justice by inflicting injustice upon your neighbors. You do not promote the rule of law through anarchy. There is no constitutional right to commit violent crime or to terrorize communities. Period. This cannot continue,” McConnell continued. (RELATED: McConnell Says The Four Officers Involved In George Floyd’s Death: ‘Look Pretty Darn Guilty’)

McConnell weighed in Friday on the death of Floyd, saying the four officers involved with his death “look pretty darn guilty.”