Jun 02 2020
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement:
“President Trump on Monday called governors facing protests over the death of George Floyd ‘weak’ and said they should ‘dominate’ the protesters. He went so far as to suggest over the weekend that looters should be shot.
“Last night, peaceful protesters outside the White House were tear-gassed to clear a space for a presidential photo-op outside a church – using a Bible as a prop – so he could repeat his harmful words of violence.
“While I deeply regret that some people have taken advantage of peaceful protests, most protesters have in fact been peaceful. Many believe peaceful protest is the only way their voices can be heard. The president, on the other hand, is saying things that fuel violence, encourage fear and will only make things worse.
“The president doesn’t seem to understand the depth of anger and frustration in communities of color. He doesn’t recognize that many black Americans fear police brutality, or that these communities are often burdened with systemic racism in areas ranging from housing to employment to education.
“Most Americans have never had to live in fear of the police, whether at home, in a store, at work or simply walking down the street. Most have never felt the constant pressure of institutional racism. But everyone can understand the power of what we saw when George Floyd was killed in police custody. Those images should drive all of us to confront the underlying issues of excessive force against people of color.
“Congress must be willing to seek answers. Chairman Graham has already said the Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on police practices. We also need to take a deeper look at criminal justice reform. To have a lasting effect – to ‘sustain momentum to bring about real change,’ as President Obama said Monday – we should engage the best and brightest and take a hard look at these issues. I hope I can be a part of that process.
“One thing I know for sure, however: We need leadership from the White House that brings people together. Presidential tweets glorifying violence will only make matters worse.”