African American lawmaker and civil rights icon John Lewis has condemned President Donald Trump for his threat to use of military force to quash protests demanding racial justice and police brutality.Lewis, a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives, told CBS News on Thursday that the video of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, “made me cry.”
Lewis, who represents Georgia’s 5th congressional district, which includes the city of Atlanta, called on Trump not to crack down on “orderly, peaceful, nonviolent protests.””I think it would be a serious mistake on the part of President Trump to use the military to stop orderly, peaceful, nonviolent protests,” Lewis said.”You cannot stop, cannot stop the call of history,” said Lewis, who was brutally beaten on several occasions during the 1960s civil rights protests.
Lewis, 80, and was a key ally of Martin Luther King Jr in the US civil rights movement in the 1960s. He was one of the leaders behind the 1963 March on Washington and the push to end legalized racial segregation.He had his skull fractured by police as he marched with anti-racism protestors in Selma, Alabama, on March 7, 1965.
Trump has adopted a tough stance towards the protesters, saying they include many “bad people” and calling on state governors to “dominate the streets.” He has also raised the possibility of deploying active duty troops to quell the protests.Floyd, 46, died on May 25 in Minneapolis after a white officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck until he suffocated.
Floyd’s death has reignited long-felt anger over police killings of African-Americans and unleashed a nationwide wave of civil unrest unlike any seen in the US since King’s 1968 assassination.Prosecutors on Wednesday leveled new criminal charges against four Minneapolis policemen implicated in Floyd’s death. Derek Chauvin, jailed Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter, was newly charged with second-degree murder.
Chauvin, 44, was the white officer seen in widely circulated video footage kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd gasped for air and repeatedly groaned, “Please, I can’t breathe.”Three fellow officers fired from the Minneapolis police department along with Chauvin were charged on Wednesday, each with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Source: Press TV