Rep. Emmer blasts Minnesota gov, Minneapolis mayor over response to riots, says they 'let the city burn'

Updated: 2020-05-31 02:50:21

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer, R-Minn., who represents the Twin Cities' northwestern suburbs, ripped local and state leaders Saturday for their handling of the Minneapolis riots following the death of .

Emmer told  that Floyd's death after he was choked by a now-arrested law enforcement officer was "a tragedy," but added that Minnesota Democratic Gov. Timothy Walz was too slow to react when the protests turned violent Thursday night.

"Obviously, it is about law and order," Emmer said. "Our governor should have deployed the National Guard immediately and should have been taking steps to protect the city right from the get-go.

"Instead, they waited: What was to be a peaceful protest -- which we celebrate in this country -- has turned into something much different."

Emmer went on to praise President Trump's handling of the violence, which has now spread to cities including Philadelphia, Atlanta and Los Angeles.

"I’m very proud of our president for making this case the number one investigation at the Department of Justice, for George Floyd, because that’s what we should be talking about," he said. "People should be held accountable."

Emmer added that Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey had showed "incompetence" in his response to the crisis, accusing the Democrat of having  "let the city burn." He specifically ripped Frey for allowing officers to abandon the city's Third Police Precinct Thursday night and claimed that action -- or inaction -- emboldened protesters and rioters across the country.

"The governor allowed this city to burn for two days before he deployed a portion of the National Guard after midnight yesterday, and look, it didn’t work last night," he said. "They put an 8 p.m. curfew in.

"The city continues to burn. And now tonight, the question is, you’ve deployed this morning finally 2,500 National Guard troops. Major General John Jensen and his soldiers are going to be on the streets tonight. There is a question, will they be able to restore law and order?" he asked.

"Because, once people go from peaceful protests to breaking windows, looting stores, destroying public property, committing acts of violence, they are no longer protesters. They are criminals, and they must be dealt with to the full extent of the law."

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