ACLU Statement on Trump Rose Garden Address on Protests

June 1, 2020 9:15 pm

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NEW YORK — In response to President Trump’s Rose Garden address following days of protest, as people demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and the countless other Black people who have been killed by police in recent years, ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero issued the following statement:

“Great presidents — like Abraham Lincoln — have historically appealed to the ‘better angels of our nature’ in moments of crisis. Lamentably, Donald Trump is not a great president. As our country is ripped asunder and teeters on chaos and racial division, President Trump missed yet another opportunity to unify people across the country.

“This country does not need authoritarian tactics like military intervention to silence dissent. It needs the political will to dismantle the deep-seated racism and inequity that permeates our institutions — especially our police departments. This country’s strength lies in the willingness of its people to take to the streets and demand adherence to values that define our nation. The ability of a people to petition its government is sacrosanct in our democracy. Governors, mayors, and police chiefs would do well to heed and hear the voices of the protesters, while ignoring the words of Donald Trump.”

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