American civil rights attorney Leo Terrell called out Democrats who have not stepped up to publicly condemn crime in the wake of protests against the death of George Floyd.
The radio talk show host told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Friday that so-called protesters are using the death of the Minneapolis man this week while under police custody as an excuse to go on crime sprees in American cities. And Democrats, fearful of losing the black vote in November, are staying silent.
“This is a tragedy,” Terrell said on “Hannity” Friday.
“There is universal acceptance that the murder of George Floyd was wrong. We agree with that,” he said, referring to the 46-year-old unarmed black man who was seen in a shocking video before he died as a white police officer pressed his knee against his neck. “I am disappointed, shocked that there has been no Democratic lawmaker in the last 72 hours who have focused on the criminal activities of these individuals who are not protesting,” he added.
“These are criminals and they are breaking the law using the guise of caring about George Floyd,” Terrell contended. “And, I encourage all you Democratic lawmakers, all you lawmakers, to stand up and criticize these criminals.”
Protests erupted earlier this week after a now-viral video showed the scene as Floyd called out to now-former officer Derek Chauvin, who was seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes, that he could not breathe. The victim soon became unresponsive and was later pronounced dead. The four officers involved were fired the next day and Chauvin was arrested Friday.
But the cries against systemic racial injustice sparked heated demonstrations in Minneapolis that soon turned violent as opportunists blurred the message with widespread looting and arson. Multiple media reports seemed to confirm that police and even the National Guard seemed visibly absent as portions of the city were destroyed over several nights of protests.
Soon the demonstrations and marches began to emerge in other cities like New York and Atlanta. More than 170 businesses have been damaged or looted, according to police in St. Paul, Minn.
“I have tremendous credibility as a civil rights attorney. I agree with Sean Hannity. I thank the president for spending prompt action of getting the attorney general involved in this and the county district attorney for filing charges,” Terrell continued in speaking with Hannity.
“But, what cannot happen is this Democratic silence,” he added.”And, let me just tell the truth why: because these Democratic lawmakers do not want to alienate black voters.”
But Terrell had a message for Democrats.
“I’ve got news for you: you’re alienating me,” he said. “I’m a black voter and you have lost me if you don’t stand up and do something about these criminals.”
Former President Obama issued a statement about the unrest, urging Americans to “work together to create a new normal in which the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts.” He did not, however, condemn the rioting and violence.
His former vice president and current 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden gave a speech on Friday in which he called for “justice for George Floyd” while also bashing the White House response. While he addressed the need for police reforms and racial reconciliation, Biden conspicuously said nothing of the violence.
Trump, meanwhile, called Floyd’s death “very sad and tragic” and asked the F.B.I. and Justice Department to investigate it.
“I understand the hurt. I understand the pain,” Trump said at a round table discussion with executives on Friday and also criticized the looters. He came under fire earlier from his critics who took issue with him calling out the rioters as “thugs.”
Twitter users seemed to not be surprised with Terrell’s view on why Democrats have not spoken out about the violence.
Finally!!! So proud of Leo for standing up to the Left's garbage.
— Nancy O'Neil (@TexturedVisions) May 30, 2020
— LuvsFlag (@AZFLG) May 30, 2020
that was great & he was legit pissed off
— Eric C. (@ebcunni) May 30, 2020
Thank you for the kind words
— TheLeoTerrell (@TheLeoTerrell) May 30, 2020