Trump says Abraham Lincoln 'did good' for the Black community but that 'the end result' is 'questionable'.
President Donald Trump claimed in a Fox News interview that he's done more for the Black community than any other president, including Abraham Lincoln.
Donald Trump further stoked controversy over race issues and policing by remarking on Friday that chokeholds sounded “so innocent and so perfect”, and once again claimed he has been the best president for black Americans – only partially conceding that Abraham Lincoln may have surpassed him.
The US president also called his choice to resume rallies on 19 June, the Juneteenth day marking the end of slavery, “a celebration”, despite having picked a city known for a historic massacre of black Americans by white Americans and used divisive language over the anti-racism protests spurred by the police killing of George Floyd.
American cities and states move to ban chokehold-type restraints by police, Trump said he would like to see a ban on such tactics in most instances, but suggested their use would be understandable in some situations.
“I don’t like chokeholds ... [but] sometimes, if you’re alone and you’re fighting someone, it’s tough,” he said in an interview with Fox News on Friday.
He gave an example of a “really bad person” confronting a police officer and said that situation had played out amid the protests, which were sparked after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes during an arrest attempt in May.
The autopsy report concluded homicide and the now former officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged with murder. A video by a witness went viral and spurred protests over police bias and brutality and wider issues of societal racism.
“You saw some very good people protesting, but you saw some bad people also,” Trump said. “And you get somebody in a chokehold. What are you going to do now? Let go and say, ‘Oh, let’s start all over again’?”
Trump later said be believed chokeholds to be theoretically acceptable, but he acknowledged they are often used inappropriately by police.
“I think the concept of chokeholds sounds so innocent and so perfect,” Trump said, adding that “you have to be careful. With that being said, it would be, I think, a very good thing that, generally speaking, it should be ended.”
The remarks followed action by a number of US cities and states towards banning police chokeholds. In the latest such move, the New York governor, Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on Friday morning to ban chokeholds in the state.