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Trump’s tweet about rioters echoes 1960s Miami police chief

CHICAGO (AP) – President Donald Trump’s tweeted warning Friday amid unrest in Minneapolis that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” echoes the language of a Miami police chief in 1967 who made clear his distaste for civil rights activists and his perception that violent protests needs to be met with lethal power.

The language has additionally been attributed to segregationist presidential candidate George Wallace in a 1968 marketing campaign speech in Pittsburgh.

About 13 hours after the president’s provocative tweet, Trump took to Twitter once more to say that he wasn’t suggesting the taking pictures of rioters. Instead, he stated he was referring to gun violence that has been spurred by the unrest.

The phrase first made headlines when Miami Police Chief Walter Headley uttered it in a 1967 speech outlining his division’s efforts to “combat young hoodlums who have taken advantage of the civil rights campaign.”

“We don’t mind being accused of police brutality,” he stated in the identical speech, in response to information stories from the time.

Trump, in his follow-up tweets, seemed to be referring to the lethal taking pictures of a person outdoors a Minneapolis pawn store on the second evening of protests there and to the wounding of individuals in Louisville, Kentucky, when gunfire broke out at a Thursday protest stemming from the March police taking pictures demise of a 26-year-old black lady.

“Looting leads to shooting, and that’s why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night – or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot,” Trump tweeted. “I don’t want this to happen, and that’s what the expression put out last night means.”

White House officers didn’t reply to a request for remark about whether or not Trump was conscious of the origins of the language on looting and taking pictures.

Headley, who spent 20 years main the Miami division, sought to ship an unambiguous message to protesters that he had little tolerance for any actions that he deemed over the road.

During the 1968 race riots within the Liberty City part of Miami that stemmed from anger within the black group over substandard housing and bleak financial situations, Headley’s language was much more harsh as he reprised the looting-shooting phrase. Police killed three residents throughout that riot.

“There is only one way to handle looters and arsonists during a riot and that is to shoot them on sight,” Headley stated. “I’ve let the word filter down: When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton, a civil rights activist and frequent critic of Trump‘s, stated that phrase has reverberated within the South and was “always used about civil rights protesters.”

Sharpton stated Trump’s “race-tinged” feedback reminded him of Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley calling on police “to shoot to kill” arsonists and “maim or cripple” looters within the April 1968 riots within the metropolis following the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

“I don’t know if the history of it was in his head or someone around him said it and he liked the sound of it,” Sharpton stated. “But it’s certainly in his spirit, and it poisons an already volatile situation.”

Wallace, who pushed pro-segregationist insurance policies as governor of Alabama, used the identical phrase as he campaigned in Pennsylvania in 1968, in response to a 2005 column by a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette author who was on the occasion.

Headley, who died simply months after the Liberty City riots, introduced in late 1967 that he was abandoning group relations efforts to stem crime and that his officers had been underneath orders to make use of shotguns and canines in a conflict on hoodlums.

“They haven’t seen anything yet,” Headley stated.


Shafner reported from New York.

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