George Floyd death: Archbishop attacks Trump as US unrest continues

As fury over George Floyd's killing continues, religious leaders condemn President Trump's actions.

Trump declares himself the "law and order president"

Washington's Catholic archbishop has strongly criticised President Donald Trump's visit to a shrine as civil unrest continues in the US over the death of a black man in police custody.

The visit "misused" and "manipulated" the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, Archbishop Wilton D Gregory said.

He said he found the president's action "baffling and reprehensible".

Filmmaker Spike Lee told the BBC anger over George Floyd's death and systemic injustice are fuelling protests.

On Monday Mr Trump threatened to send in the military to quell disturbances, vowing to "dominate the streets", as protests sparked by the killing of Mr Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis continued. 

The president said he would deploy the army if cities and states failed to control the protests. But on Tuesday at least one mayor rejected the use of National Guard and military forces.

Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden criticised Mr Trump for using the crisis to appeal to his supporters, saying he was "serving the passions of his base".

On Tuesday the Las Vegas sheriff said an officer died in a shooting after police attempted to disperse a crowd, and four officers were injured on Monday in St Louis, Missouri.

What have religious leaders said?

In a statement ahead of the president's visit to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine on Tuesday, Archbishop Wilton D Gregory said it violated the church's religious principles, adding that Catholics should defend the rights of all people.

The archbishop also condemned the forceful clearing of protesters outside the White House on Monday to allow Mr Trump to visit a church where he held a Bible in front of gathered media.

Saint John Paul "would not condone the use of tear gas and other deterrents to silence, scatter or intimidate [protestors] for a photo opportunity in front of a place of worship," he commented.

Archbishop Gregory is the first African-American to lead the diocese. The shrine is run by the Knights of Columbus, an all-male Catholic organisation that has lobbied for conservative political causes.

Washington's Episcopalian bishop, Mariann Budde, also condemned the president's actions. In the UK the archbishops of York and Canterbury said the unrest exposed "the ongoing evil of white supremacy".

Politics and religion

US President Donald Trump's signalling of religious affiliation has not been welcomed by a range of clerics as the nation struggles to manage the twin challenges of a pandemic and widespread political protest.

President Trump does not belong to a particular congregation, only occasionally attends a service and has said many times that he does not like to ask God for forgiveness.

 

But while he may not consider church essential to his personal life, it may yet hold the keys to his political future.

In 2016, Mr Trump won 81% of white evangelical votes and exit polls found that white Catholics supported him over Hillary Clinton by 60% to 37%.

What's the latest in the protests?

  • After New York's iconic department store Macy's and other shops were looted, Governor Andrew Cuomo criticised the police for "not doing their jobs"
  • Curfews in the city are extended to Sunday, as well as in Philadelphia until Thursday
  • In Chicago, two people were reported killed amid unrest, although the circumstances are unclear
  • Meanwhile, the state of Minnesota filed a civil rights charge against the Minneapolis Police Department over Mr Floyd's death
  • And the controversial order to clear protesters from a park near the White House on Monday evening came directly from Attorney General William Barr, US media reported
  • The chief of police in Louisville, Kentucky was sacked after law enforcement officers fired into a crowd on Sunday night, killing the owner of a nearby business
  • Music channels and celebrities marked Blackout Tuesday, pausing for eight minutes - the length of time a police officer knelt on Mr Floyd's neck

How did protests begin?

The protests began after a video showed Mr Floyd being arrested and a white police officer continuing to kneel on his neck even after he pleaded that he could not breathe, on 25 May.

The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and will appear in court next week. Three other police officers have been fired.

On Monday Mr Trump called on cities and states to deploy the National Guard, the reserve military force that can be called on to intervene in domestic emergencies.

He said if a city did not "take the actions that [were] necessary" he would deploy the military and "quickly solve the problem for them."

In order to take that step, the president would have to invoke the Insurrection Act, which in some circumstances first requires a request from state governors for him to do so.

This law was last invoked in 1992 during riots in Los Angeles following the acquittal of four police officers charged with assaulting black motorist Rodney King.

What's the bigger picture?

The Floyd case has reignited deep-seated anger over police killings of black Americans and racism. It follows the high-profile cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; Eric Garner in New York; and others that have driven the Black Lives Matter movement in recent years.

Garner was placed in a police chokehold in New York in 2014 and could be heard crying out "I can't breathe" as officers restrained him. His words, which were also shouted by Mr Floyd in his final moments, have become a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter protesters.

Demonstrators have taken to the streets - not only to express their outrage at the treatment of Mr Floyd - but to condemn police brutality against black Americans more widely.

African-Americans are more likely to get fatally shot by police than other ethnic groups. They are also arrested for drug abuse at a much higher rate than white Americans, although surveys show drug use is at similar levels.

For many, the outrage over Mr Floyd's death also reflects years of frustration over socio-economic inequality and discrimination, not least in Minneapolis itself. It has also come amid the coronavirus pandemic, which studies show has disproportionately affected black Americans both in terms of deaths and job losses.

But the protests also echo those of the Civil Rights movement more than 50 years ago. This action was led by Martin Luther King Jr and sought to challenge white supremacy and the segregationist policies that were commonplace at the time.

The ongoing unrest is the most widespread racial turbulence the US has experienced since Dr King, known to most Americans as MLK, was gunned down by a sniper in 1968. BBC

 
 

Other News

.
Inspectors suggest cancelling Covid-19 testing system purchase contract
Inspectors suggest cancelling Covid-19 testing system purchase contract
SOCIETYicon  28/06/2020 

Inspectors of Quang Nam Province have suggested that the provincial government cancel a bidding package to purchase a real-time PCR detection system used for Covid-19 testing

Two more imported COVID-19 cases confirmed in Vietnam
Two more imported COVID-19 cases confirmed in Vietnam
SOCIETYicon  27/06/2020 

Vietnam recorded two more imported COVID-19 cases on June 27 evening, raising the total number of infections in the country to 355, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

HCMC transport authority insists on need for bus subsidies
HCMC transport authority insists on need for bus subsidies
SOCIETYicon  28/06/2020 

Even as experts have proposed abolishing subsidies to bus services, which have been increasing over the years, the public transport authority insisted that subsidies were a necessity for this form of transport.

440 Japanese experts, entrepreneurs arrive in Vietnam
440 Japanese experts, entrepreneurs arrive in Vietnam
SOCIETYicon  27/06/2020 

The Japanese Embassy in Vietnam announced that amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, charter flights were arranged on June 25 and 27 to transport 440 Japanese experts and entrepreneurs to Vietnam.

Patient 91: How Vietnam saved a British pilot and kept a clean Covid-19 sheet
Patient 91: How Vietnam saved a British pilot and kept a clean Covid-19 sheet
FEATUREicon  27/06/2020 

Stephen Cameron spent 68 days on a ventilator but beat the odds to survive coronavirus.

Coronavirus: US has 'serious problem', says Fauci
Coronavirus: US has 'serious problem', says Fauci
SOCIETYicon  27/06/2020 

The infection is rampant in 16 states, some of which are now freezing their reopening plans.

Photo exhibition showcases Vietnamese battle against COVID-19 epidemic
Photo exhibition showcases Vietnamese battle against COVID-19 epidemic
SOCIETYicon  27/06/2020 

As many as 104 photographs that highlight the nation’s fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic are on display at a photo exhibition in Hanoi.

“Made-in-Vietnam” COVID-19 vaccine expected within nine months
“Made-in-Vietnam” COVID-19 vaccine expected within nine months
SOCIETYicon  27/06/2020 

The country is expected to market a “Made-in-Vietnam” vaccine for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) within the next nine to 12 months due to the vaccine research and manufacturing project enjoying strong progress, according to researchers.

UNDP presents robots help protect frontline health workers
UNDP presents robots help protect frontline health workers
SOCIETYicon  27/06/2020 

The United National Development Programme (UNDP) has donated three Ohmni Robots to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases to help protect frontline doctors and nurses from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

Vinsmart ventilator approved by Health Ministry
Vinsmart ventilator approved by Health Ministry
SOCIETYicon  27/06/2020 

A ventilator model produced by Vinsmart, a member of Vingroup, has obtained approval for sale from the Ministry of Health.

Vietnam goes through 72 days without COVID-19 local transmissions
Vietnam goes through 72 days without COVID-19 local transmissions
SOCIETYicon  27/06/2020 

Vietnam has entered the 72nd day in a row without new COVID-19 infections among the community as of June 27 morning, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Suspect admits offence in case of 39 Vietnamese lorry deaths
Suspect admits offence in case of 39 Vietnamese lorry deaths
SOCIETYicon  27/06/2020 

Alexandru Hanga, on June 26, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration in a case linked to 39 Vietnamese migrants who were found dead inside a lorry in Essex, the UK, last October.

Preventive treatment for people at high risk of HIV infection the most effective solution
Preventive treatment for people at high risk of HIV infection the most effective solution
SOCIETYicon  28/06/2020 

Hoang Dinh Canh, deputy head of Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) speaks to the press on the ministry’s plan to expand pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) service to all provinces and cities nationwide.

HCM City has 16 more high schools to be develop advanced library
HCM City has 16 more high schools to be develop advanced library
SOCIETYicon  27/06/2020 

The HCM City Department of Education and Training plans to build modern libraries at 16 more high schools under a programme that provides preferential loans.  

Teacher spends more than 20 years guiding children with disabilities
Teacher spends more than 20 years guiding children with disabilities
SOCIETYicon  28/06/2020 

Pham Thi Hong of Pleiku City, the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, has run a teaching centre for disabled children in a rented house at No 57, Tran Nhat Duat Street for more than 20 years.

Robots given to hospital to help protect frontline health workers from COVID-19
Robots given to hospital to help protect frontline health workers from COVID-19
SOCIETYicon  26/06/2020 

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Thursday donated three Ohmni Robots to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases to help protect frontline doctors and nurses from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

Israel shares experiences with Vietnam in saving water in farming
Israel shares experiences with Vietnam in saving water in farming
SOCIETYicon  26/06/2020 

Drip irrigation – an effective Israeli invention that helps save water significantly – could be applied in Vietnam, particularly when part of Vietnam was heavily hit by droughts and saline intrusion, Israel’s agriculture expert said.


A

Indispensable dishes consumed during Doan Ngo festival
Indispensable dishes consumed during Doan Ngo festival
SOCIETYicon  26/06/2020 

With the Doan Ngo festival falling on the fifth day of May in the lunar calendar, the occasion usually kicks off the period of killing insects that harm the crops of farmers, 

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia June 26
Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia June 26
SOCIETYicon  26/06/2020 

Vietnam enters 71st day without COVID-19 local transmissions

HCM City education dept prepares for new training programme
HCM City education dept prepares for new training programme
SOCIETYicon  27/06/2020 

The HCM City Department of Education and Training and city schools have been training teachers, choosing textbooks, and preparing facilities to carry out a new nationwide training programme in the 2020-21 academic year

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN