President Trump has responded to the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old black man in Minneapolis, with a mixture of inflammatory tweets, silence, and verbal sympathy. In Florida on Saturday, for example, Trump called Floyd's death "a grave tragedy" that "never should have happened" and "has filled Americans all over the country with horror, anger, and grief."
Even as Trump's advisers privately complained that his tweets "were pouring fuel on an already incendiary situation," his "aides were disappointed that the remarks, delivered late Saturday afternoon as part of a speech otherwise celebrating the triumph of the space program, did not get wider attention," The New York Times reports. "In the speech, Mr. Trump repeated his calls for law and order, but in more measured terms and leavened by expressions of sympathy for Mr. Floyd's family, whom he had called to offer condolences."
The call did not go well, Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, told MSNBC on Saturday evening. "It was so fast, he didn't give me the opportunity to even speak," Floyd said. "It was hard. I was trying to talk to him, but he just kept, like, pushing me off, like: 'I don't want to hear what you're talking about.' And I just told him I want justice. I said that I couldn't believe that they committed a modern-day lynching in broad daylight. I can't stand for that. I can't. And it hurt me."
Floyd said the family had also spoken with former Vice President Joe Biden and he delivered the same message about wanting justice for his brother. Philonise Floyd told MSNBC he wants the death penalty for all four police officers involved in his brother's death. You can watch the interview at MSNBC.