'Can't You Shoot Them?' Trump Mulled Use of Weapons Against BLM Protests, New Book Claims

© AFP 2023 / ALLISON JOYCEFormer U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at The Farm at 95 on April 9, 2022 in Selma, North Carolina
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at The Farm at 95 on April 9, 2022 in Selma, North Carolina - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.05.2022
Former US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper reportedly writes in his book that Trump mentioned the prospects of shooting protesters during the first week of June 2020.
As protesters were gathering in the streets near the White House in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing in 2020, then-US President Donald Trump considered allowing the authorities to use firearms to quell the protests, former US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper alleges in his upcoming memoir, as cited by Axios.
In the book, titled "A Sacred Oath" and slated to be released on 10 May, Esper claims Trump made such a suggestion during the first week of June 2020.
"Can't you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?" Trump supposedly said at the time.
Esper describes that moment as "surreal", recalling "sitting in front of the Resolute desk, inside the Oval Office, with this idea weighing heavily in the air, and the president red faced and complaining loudly about the protests under way in Washington, DC".
"The good news — this wasn't a difficult decision", he notes. "The bad news — I had to figure out a way to walk Trump back without creating the mess I was trying to avoid".
The media outlet also notes that reporter Michael Bender also claimed in his book "Frankly, We Did Win This Election", which was published last year, that Trump during meetings inside the Oval Office called for law enforcement to shoot protesters.
A demonstrator marches, holding a Black Lives Matter flag, during the sixth night of protests over the shooting death of Daunte Wright by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on April 16, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.04.2022
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The death of an African-American named George Floyd while in police custody in May 2020 sparked a wave of protests across the United States against police brutality and racism.
The Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests soon turned violent, leading to widespread looting and leaving a number of people dead or injured amid shootings and clashes with the police.
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