President Trump says New York is 'lost' to 'lowlifes and scum' amid protests

2 June 2020, 19:01

Trump has repeatedly criticised states that have not called upon the National Guard
Trump has repeatedly criticised states that have not called upon the National Guard. Picture: PA
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

Donald Trump has said New York City is "lost" to "lowlife and scum" following another night of protests and looting, and has called for the National Guard to be deployed in the city.

The US president has repeatedly touted National Guard deployment as his answer to bringing nationwide protests under control - but New York authorities have remained steadfast in refusing to call on them.

In a series of tweets following another night of unrest, Mr Trump criticised state authorities by saying looters had ripped New York City "to pieces".

Read the latest updates on this story on our US protests live blog

He added: "New York was lost to the looters, thugs, Radical Left, and all others forms of Lowlife & Scum.

"The Governor refuses to accept my offer of a dominating National Guard.

"NYC was ripped to pieces."

Taking particular aim at NY Governor Andrew Cuomo and his sibling, CNN presenter Chris Cuomo, he added: "Yesterday was a bad day for the Cuomo Brothers."

It comes as another 700 arrests were made across the city on Monday, while two officers were injured after a vehicle drove into a crowd of police upstate.

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The majority of protesting was said to be peaceful; however, violence broke out on Fordham and Burnside avenues in the Bronx, where videos of protesters looting local stores were shared.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Cuomo said he believed the response from NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD the night before had been "a disgrace" - but did not suggest calling on the National Guard.

"The NYPD and the mayor did not do their job last night," he said, encouraging them to make full use of the 38,000-strong NYPD to protect people and property.

"I believe the mayor underestimates the scope of the problem and he underestimates the duration of the problem. I don't think they've used enough police to address the situation."

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Mayor de Blasio also directly rejected use of the National Guard, saying: "We do not need, nor do we think it's wise, for the National Guard to be activated in New York City.

"When outside armed forces go into local communities, no good comes of it. We have seen this for decades."

Earlier in the day, Mr Cuomo responded to some of the president's comments in a series of his own tweets, which said Mr Trump was one of many people who "intentionally blur the lines" between peaceful protesting and looting.

He wrote: "There are those who want to intentionally blur the lines between peaceful, legitimate protesters and looters. The president is among them.

"They want you to watch the videos of the looting — not the video of Mr Floyd being murdered. Don't fall for it.

READ MORE: Shop owner who called police on George Floyd says he won't again until they 'stop killing innocent people'

"The vast majority of protesters are peaceful. They are separate and distinct from the criminals who are opportunistically using this situation for their own purposes.

Andrew Cuomo said the NYPD and the mayor were 'a disgrace' overnight
Andrew Cuomo said the NYPD and the mayor were 'a disgrace' overnight. Picture: PA

"Criminal activity and looting MUST stop. Not only is it illegal—it distracts from the point of the protests."

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Daily protests have been taking place across the US for more than a week and come in response to the death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, in police custody.

Footage of Mr Floyd's death last Monday shows him laying face down on a street in Minneapolis after being arrested for allegedly using a counterfeit note, while a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneels on his neck.

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Despite Mr Floyd pleading with Chauvin to get off his neck because he couldn't breathe, the officer remained in the position for more than eight minutes.

The 46-year-old was pronounced dead shortly after - an incident that has since revived the debate around racist practices in the US judicial system.

Chauvin has now been arrested and charged with third-degree murder. The three officers he was on duty with at the time of My Floyd's death have also been fired.