Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) blames both sides.
A Republican congressman on Friday demanded that both the white police officer charged in the murder of an unarmed black man in Minnesota and the protesters demanding justice for his alleged victim be arrested.
Rep. Chip Roy tweeted the news that former Minneapolis Police Department Officer Derek Chauvin had been taken into custody on Friday. "Justice should be served here," the first-term lawmaker wrote. Appearing to compare the alleged murder of an unarmed black man by a white police officer with protests against the murder, Roy went on, "And also for looters destroying people's livelihoods and endangering lives."
Chauvin was caught on video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd on Monday. Floyd could be heard in the video saying he could not breathe. He died shortly after.
Since Floyd's death, protesters have taken to the streets of Minneapolis and other cities across the country in response.
Earlier Friday, Roy had agreed with a conservative columnist who wrote, "Everybody should agree that what the cops did is bad. Everybody should also agree that what the rioters/looters/arsonists are doing is bad." He also retweeted a right-wing radio host who said, "The police officers involved the George Floyd case must and will face justice, but so must the looters, rioters, and arsonists."
A number of other Republicans also criticized the protesters on Friday, some using the protests to attack Democrats.
Rep. Jim Hagedorn complained in a Facebook post: "Sooner or later the libs will try to blame President Donald J. Trump for this violence and chaos."
"Democrat policies are on full display," he charged, "destroying lives, businesses and society in the Twin Cities. Every political authority figure in the chain, from Governor, U.S. Senators, U.S. Congresswoman, the Mayors on down to dog catcher are [Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party] politicians. Instead of protecting people and property, they spent days wringing their hands and effectively patting rioters on the back."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement: "Stealing, burning down buildings, attacking law enforcement officers, or laying siege to police precincts is not speech or protest. It is violent crime that victimizes innocent people."
Rep. Lee Zeldin tweeted, "What happened to George Floyd was horrifying injustice. Arrests & prosecution must swiftly, fairly & strongly follow, but burning down the city & looting doesn't help. People have a greater voice w/unity, leadership, poise & determination w/o burning everything down around them."
Since the protests began, Donald Trump has blamed the mayor of Minneapolis, whom he labeled "very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey"; called protesters "THUGS"; and said the National Guard had arrived in the city and was "fully prepared."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.