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Monday, June 17, 2024

When police officers, Trump encourage militia ‘vigilantes,’ death follows

When police thank right-wing wannabe militia members and give them fist-bumps while Trump calls them "great patriots," they encourage the violence that leaves people dead on the streets.
Kyle Rittenhouse, left, walks in Kenosha, Wis., on Tuesday with another armed civilian. Prosecutors have charged Rittenhouse, 17, in the fatal shooting of two protesters that night and the wounding of a third. (Adam Rogan/Journal Times/AP)

Violence in Kenosha, WI, and Portland brought three deaths last week and two disturbing trends: A president who praised those accused of killing and police who let vigilantes roam at will with their assault style weapons and militia antics.

Reports in Kenosha say police officers on duty during protests handed out bottles to the wannabe militia types, including 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, a right-wing fanatic from Antioch, IL, who is not charge with first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of two men.

Videos and photos show law enforcement personnel greeting the hardcore militia types with fist bumps and handshakes and let them strut their stuff with their AR’s, camo gear and attitude.

An armed man fist-bumps a police officer in riot gear as various self-proclaimed militia groups stage rallies at the Confederate memorial in Stone Mountain, Ga., on Aug. 15. (Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters)

President Donald Trump congratulated the pickups packed with the fake militias who drove into Portland Saturday to first paint guns and rubber bullets before real gunshots rang out and a member of one right-wing lay dead in the street. Trump called the right-wingers “great patriots” and said their attacks on protestors were “understandable.” He retweeted a demand that Rittenhouse should “be president” because of his actions.

Trump obviously wants to see more violence in the streets to support his constant tweets of “LAW AND ORDER” and his longing to have cities with Democratic leadership torn apart by violence. He feels that could be his route to re-election victory in November.

A man is treated after being shot in Portland, Ore., on Saturday. (Paula Bronstein/AP)

Trump went on a Twitter rant Sunday with 89 tweets calling the response by the militia groups that support him “understandable” and he predicted more violence and deaths. He praised the “Trump Cruise Rally” by his supporters as a “need” to fight Black Lives Matter and other groups he calls “anarchists” and “terrorists.”

Ironically, he ignored a large and peaceful civil rights march in Washington Friday, where speakers condemned his actions and leadership failures.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden condemned the violence “unequivocally” and added:

We must not become a country at war with ourselves; a country that accepts the killing of fellow Americans who do not agree with you; a country that vows vengeance toward one another. But that is the America that President Trump wants us to be, the America he believes we are.

Trump laced his Twitter Tantrum with lies that claim Biden has called for “defunding the police and is tied to “radical elements of the left.” Biden does not support defunding the police and orchestrated a strong criminal justice reform bill in Congress to strengthen the law enforcement community with stronger sentences.

Albuquerque police detain members of the New Mexico Civil Guard, an armed civilian group, following the shooting of a man during a protest over a statue of Spanish conqueror Juan de Oñate on June 15. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal/AP)

In a planned trip to Kenosha, where protests grew out of a shooting that paralyzed Black resident Jacob Blake, the White House said Trump will meet with law enforcement officials but has no scheduled plans to meet with Blake’s family.

Biden, however, has been in contact with Blake’s famiy.

Biden plans a speech in Southwestern Pennsylvania Monday to focus of Trump’s mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the president’s questionable actions on social justice protests.

Trump, instead, reposted a tweet that said the actions of Rittenhouse is a “reason to vote for Trump.”


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