Don Lemon had words for President Donald Trump's handling of George Floyd's death after the black Minnesota man was killed Monday by white police officer Derek Chauvin, who was videoed kneeling on Floyd's neck for several minutes as he gasped that he could not breathe. During Thursday's The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer, Lemon went off on Trump after U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald said the president was "directly and actively monitoring the investigation" into Floyd's death.
Expressing his "honest" opinion, Lemon said Americans don't want to hear from Trump and the AG's office amid the time of crisis. "No one wants to hear from the man who wanted the death penalty to come back for the Central Park Five," he said. "No one wants to hear from the man who says that the former president was not born in this country. No one wants to hear from the man who says, 'There are very fine people on both sides.' Do you understand what I am saying?"
Lemon continued that Trump has been "contributing to situations" like this in society, not directly, "but allowing people like that to think they can get away from this." He added of Trump's past comments on racism and racial inequality in the U.S., "No one wants to hear from the Birther-in-Chief, from the 'sons of b—'-calling person, who says that athletes are kneeling for this very reason. No one wants to hear from that."
The anchor also called out all government officials who have had more "urgency" trying to calm the protests in Minneapolis than they do making things right for people "who have been abused by police officers." While he can't condone any looting that comes from the riots, he understands the anger of "people who are being abused by the system, who are being abused by police officers, who are experiencing racism in this country, and people are denying it."
The day after Lemon's passionate speech, Chauvin was arrested charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Floyd's family said in a statement after the announcement of charges, "[The arrest of] Derek Chauvin for the brutal killing of George Floyd is a welcome but overdue step on the road to justice. We expected a first-degree murder charge. We want a first-degree murder charge. And we want to see the other officers arrested."