KEY POINTS

  • First Lady Melania Trump echoed the President's call for "peaceful protests"
  • Protesters alike decry that their rightful calls are being tarnished by violence and looting
  • President Trump warns against protesters who violate the rule of law

First Lady Melania Trump asked everyone to protest in peace after cries for justice over George Floyd’s death turned into violent street actions.

In a tweet she posted on Monday night, Trump expressed her sadness over the damages in the wake of protests. “I ask everyone to protest in peace and focus on taking care of one another and healing our great nation,” she posted.

Floyd’s death, which had followed two other killings of African-Americans by white shooters early this year, sparked an outrage across the country. However, indignation protests had escalated into violent clashes, with some actions indiscriminately destroying establishments, even those owned or serving people of color.

The brother of Floyd, Terrence, and the mother of Breonna Taylor, an African-American woman who was shot and killed by police officers in Louisville, Kentucky in March, have called for peaceful protests.

“If I’m not here blowing up stuff, if I’m not over here, messing up my community, what are you all doing?” Terrence said, addressing protesters at a vigil held for his brother. “What are you doing? You’re doing nothing, because that’s not going to bring my brother back at all.”

Protesters have likewise condemned the looting that has been happening alongside the protests. In an interview with CNN on Sunday, a protester called out "opportunistic" looters who are only aggravating the situation and tarnishing the rightful protests.

“What we are trying to do is stand up for the basic right of humanity,” the protester said. “I want to be able just to be free, and not have to think about every step I take. ‘Coz at the end of the day being born black is a crime.”

On Monday, President Donald Trump also delivered a statement, vowing to protect "peaceful protesters" from the violent mob. He reiterated he will bring the U.S. military to states and cities that will not be able to stop the riots. He cited the vandalism and desecration of memorial places in Washington and the killing of a police officer in Oakland, California as acts of terrorism and not of peaceful protests.

“America is founded upon the rule of law,” he said. “It is the foundation of our prosperity, our freedom, and our very way of life. But there is no law, there is no opportunity; where there is no justice, there is no liberty; where there is no safety, there is no future.”

Police charge a barricade in the street during a demonstration against the death of George Floyd, near the White House on May 31, 2020 in Washington Police charge a barricade in the street during a demonstration against the death of George Floyd, near the White House on May 31, 2020 in Washington Photo: AFP / ROBERTO SCHMIDT