Last night I watched with great sadness the events that were unfolding in Minneapolis, a great American city. I watched as the Third Precinct Police Station in Minneapolis burned to the ground. I watched the outrageous footage of the excellent CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez and his crew being arrested. And I watched in horror as President Trump tweeted a threat to shoot people in the streets. ...Later, Lightfoot said:
Moments like this unearth generations of pain that are barely below the surface ... It's impossible for me as a black woman who has been the target of blatant racism over the course of my life not to take the killing of George Floyd personally. Watching that poor man beg for his life - and for the ability to breathe - and then watching the life leave him there on the streets, I felt angry, I felt sickened, and a range of other emotions all at once. Being black in America should not be a death sentence. We should not fear for the lives of our loved ones, and mothers shouldn't fear when their young men and women go out into the world that they're gonna get that fateful call.
Let me say one other thing. Donald Trump's comment last night was profoundly dangerous. We must stand in firm solidarity and say this is totally unacceptable - no matter who is the speaker. We see the game he is playing because it is so transparent and he is not very good at it. He wants to show failures on the part of Democratic local leaders, to throw red meat to his base. His goal is to polarize, to destabilize local government and inflame racist urges. We can absolutely not let him prevail. And I will code what I really want to say to Donald Trump. It's two words. It begins with F and it ends with U.
What I'm concerned about is a president of the United States using his bully pulpit to foment violence, that's what I'm concerned about. There's no other way that you can read that tweet than fomenting, encouraging violence against residents in a city or in cities across the country who are expressing themselves and exercising their First Amendment rights. Nobody is going to sit and condone looting and violence. But to blanketly say, as the president of the United States, that you are encouraging people to be shot in the street, that's what I'm concerned about. And frankly, everyone should be concerned about that. That's not leadership. That's cowardice. That's playing to your base with the biggest dog whistle possible.Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker:
I don't take the bait every time, but this time, when we are suffering pain and trauma at the killing of a black man in the street, the fact that he would use this opportunity to try to, for political gain and to blow the dog whistle to his base - I feel an obligation to speak out when something as offensive as that is said by anyone, but particularly the president. And I make no apologies whatsoever for my word choice and the way in which I'm calling him out for what he said. It was wrong. It was offensive. And he should retract it and apologize.
[I am] outraged by what [Trump] does in response to these situations. From the very moment that I announced my decision to run for governor three plus years ago, I said that this president was a racist, misogynist, homophobe, a xenophobe, and I was right then and I'm right now. His tweets, his reaction, his failure to address the racism that exists in America, his stoking of the flames in sometimes subtle, sometimes not so subtle, ways is completely unacceptable. It's reprehensible, in fact.Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx:
I'm disgusted by our president's hateful and racist rhetoric in the wake of the uprisings in Minneapolis.Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle:
There's a pervasive and tragic history of racism in our country, and a United States president who provokes it. As we grieve Mr. Floyd's death, President Trump is inciting violence against the protesters. We cannot stand idly by as he does this, and must affirm the right to peaceful, open protests of police brutality.