Trump uses old, racist saying to justify shooting protesters

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Trump uses old, racist saying to justify shooting protesters
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29 May 2020
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Washington, May 29 (RHC)-- Twitter said early Friday that a post by President Donald Trump about the protests overnight in Minneapolis glorified violence because of the historical context of his last line: "When the looting starts, the shooting starts."

The Donald, taking a bow for such a rhyme and perhaps applause from his supporters, even ends by saying: "Thank you!"

The phrase was used both by Miami's police chief, Walter Headley, in 1967, and by presidential candidate and segregationist George Wallace the following year.  Hadley used it when he addressed his department's "crackdown on ... slum hoodlums," according to a United Press International article from the time.

Headley, who was chief of police in Miami for 20 years, said that law enforcement was going after “young hoodlums, from 15 to 21, who have taken advantage of the civil rights campaign. ... We don't mind being accused of police brutality."

Miami hadn't faced "racial disturbances and looting," Headley added, because he let word filter down that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."  The phrase was considered to have contributed to the city's race riots in the late 1960s, according to The Washington Post.

Headley, who died only a few months later in 1968 and had been denounced by civil rights leaders, was described in an Associated Press obituary as the "architect of a crime crackdown that sent police dogs and shotgun-toting patrolmen into Miami's slums in force."

Wallace, a Democrat who fought to preserve segregation during his political career, also used the phrase when he ran a third-party presidential campaign in 1968.  According to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he said the same thing to his supporters during a campaign event in Pittsburgh's Civic Arena: "When the looting starts, the shooting starts."

 

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