Americans have been closely following along with all of the events that have unfolded following George Floyd's murder. In the past several days, riots and protests have sprung up across many cities, with those calling for justice in Floyd's case. Floyd died on Monday after officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. Chauvin has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. President Donald Trump has also spoken out regarding this issue, with his latest statement striking a remarkably different tone than the one that his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, made.
This past week, Trump has spoken out regarding Floyd's death on a few occasions. On Wednesday, he took to Twitter to relate that he had been in contact with the FBI and the Department of Justice about the investigation into Floyd's passing. He ended his statement by writing that "Justice will be served!" On Friday, according to CNN, he shared that he had been in contact with Floyd's family and told reporters, "I want to express our nation's deepest condolences and most heartfelt sympathies to the family of George Floyd. I spoke to members of the family -- terrific people." In addition to speaking out about Floyd, he has also commented on the rioting in U.S. cities, which comes as many have protested Floyd's murder. As many have acknowledged, his incendiary statements about the riots, in which he calls for Americans to be shot if they do loot businesses, have given many serious pause.
Trump expressed on Twitter that he would condone violence against those who are looting amidst the protests over Floyd's death. He wrote, "These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let that happen. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts." As previously mentioned, this dangerous tweet is incredibly different than the message that Melania shared in light of these protests. According to CNN, in direct contradiction to her husband's tweet, the First Lady called for peace in this situation.
"Our country allows for peaceful protests, but there is no reason for violence," she wrote on Twitter. Her message then went on to acknowledge that Americans are hurting amidst both the coronavirus crisis and this current fight for justice in Floyd's case. "I've seen our citizens unify & take care of one another through COVID19 & we can't stop now. My deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd. As a nation, let's focus on peace, prayers & healing."