President TrumpDonald John TrumpUtah Lieutenant Gov. Cox leads Huntsman in close governor’s race Trump tweets ‘we all miss’ Ailes after swiping at Fox Former NFL player Burgess Owens wins Utah GOP primary MORE on Wednesday lashed out at New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioOcasio-Cortez dismisses proposed B cut: ‘Defunding police means defunding police’ Protesters, police clash in New York ahead of vote to slash NYPD budget The Hill’s Morning Report – Officials crack down as COVID-19 cases soar MORE (D) for moving ahead with plans to paint “Black Lives Matter” along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, calling the mural a “symbol of hate.”
Trump also criticized city officials for agreeing to shift roughly $1 billion from the police department as part of its budget for the coming year. He complained that the financial cuts, paired with plans to paint the mural along Fifth Avenue, were an affront to law enforcement.
“NYC is cutting Police $’s by ONE BILLION DOLLARS, and yet the @NYCMayor is going to paint a big, expensive yellow Black Lives Matter sign on Fifth Avenue, denigrating this luxury avenue,” Trump tweeted.
The president tweeted that those actions will “further antagonize New York’s Finest.” He referenced a chant at a protest five years ago in which demonstrators shouted “pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon.” The chant has not been documented at recent protests over the May 25 police killing of George Floyd.
“Maybe our GREAT Police, who have been neutralized and scorned by a mayor who hates & disrespects them, won’t let this symbol of hate be affixed to New York’s greatest street. Spend this money fighting crime instead!” Trump tweeted.
De Blasio said Wednesday morning that “Black Lives Matter” will be painted along Fifth Avenue in the coming days. The location of the mural will be right near Trump Tower, he said.
Cities nationwide have painted “Black Lives Matter” in prominent locations in recent weeks in a show of support for protesters who have called for systemic changes to address racial injustice and police brutality. The phrase was painted in Washington, D.C., on 16th Street NW leading up to the White House, and part of the road was renamed “Black Lives Matter Plaza.”
Trump has dug in on his support for law enforcement as the protests persist, painting demonstrators as unruly anarchists and highlighting a small group of individuals who have vandalized statues and monuments.
But his tweets on Wednesday describing the “Black Lives Matter” mural as a “symbol of hate” that denigrates the street it is written on marked a new escalation.
Public polling shows that most Americans support the protests that have happened over the last month. A CBS News poll released Sunday found that 60 percent of those surveyed agree with the idea of the Black Lives Matter movement, and 53 percent of them support people protesting the treatment of Black Americans by police.
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