Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot offered a scathing rebuke of President Trump Friday after several other prominent Democrats accused the president of inciting violence by protesters demonstrating over the death of George Floyd.
Early Friday morning, the president tweeted he wouldn't let "THUGS" dishonor the memory of Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis, after pleading that he could not breathe.
At a news conference Friday afternoon, a stern Lightfoot said President Trump's comment was "profoundly dangerous" and that people must "say this is totally unacceptable no matter who is the speaker."
Twitter labeled Trump’s tweet as one that violated the company’s policy because it glorified violence in the last line.
"His goal is to polarize to destabilize local government and inflame racist urges, and we can absolutely not let him prevail," Lightfoot added. "And I will code what I really want to say to Donald Trump. It's two words. It begins with F. It ends with U."
Lightfoot insisted President Trump "wants to show failures on the part of democratic local leaders to throw red meat to his base."
"His goal is to polarize, to destabilize local government and inflame racist urges, and we can absolutely not let him prevail," she stated.
The president on Friday, after a police precinct in Minneapolis was torched by protesters, also wrote on Twitter that he was willing to send the National Guard to deal with the chaos, adding: “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
At the time of Trump’s tweet, the Minneapolis National Guard had already been activated by the state’s governor, Tim Walz.
The police officer seen on video kneeling on the neck of Floyd was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter hours later.
Derek Chauvin, who was one of four officers fired this week, was arrested after three days of often-violent protests that resulted in fires and looting across parts of Minneapolis. Chauvin faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted, according to Minnesota state law.
On Thursday, Lightfoot said video of Floyd's death brought the death of Laquan McDonald, a Chicago teen who was fatally shot 16 times by a police officer in 2014, back into focus.
"Its been a painful reminder that while we have been focused on fighting this violence, we know our work and facing hard truths about Mr. Floyd, and I think about my brothers and men in my family," she said that afternoon.
As a result of the incident in Minneapolis, Chicago's new police superintendent, David Brown, ordered officers to watch the controversial video and undergo positional asphyxiation training.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot wasn't the only Illinois politician to criticize President Trump for his comments regarding Floyd's death.
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., blasted the president for using the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts."
The phrase was used by Miami's police chief, Walter Headley, in 1967, when he addressed his department's crackdown on "slum hoodlums" who he claimed were taking advantage of the civil rights movement. Headley was denounced by civil rights leaders at the time and called a racist by some.
Referring to the historical connotation, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., tweeted, "I doubt the President knows this history, but I don't doubt he knows exactly what he's doing and what sentiments he's trying to appeal to. Just as he did after Charlottesville and when he took out his newspaper ads calling for the death penalty for the Central Park Five."