Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan alleged on Sunday that “white men” were responsible for many of the riots that have occurred in the course of protests over the death of George Floyd.
“I want to acknowledge that much of the violence and destruction, both here in Seattle and across the country, has been instigated and perpetuated by white men,” Durkan wrote on Twitter. “These individuals experience the height of privilege and are co-opting peaceful demonstrations that were organized by and meant to center people of color, particularly Black Americans.”
Demonstrations erupted in Minneapolis, Minn., last week after Floyd, who is African-American, died during the course of his arrest by white officers. Former officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for several minutes while Floyd said “I can’t breathe.” Chauvin has since been charged with third-degree murder.
The protests over Floyd’s death have spread to major American cities and in many cases turned violent, with widespread rioting and looting reported in Washington D.C., New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and elsewhere. NYPD counterterrorism head John Miller said on Sunday that organized “anarchist” groups coordinated the looting of wealthy neighborhoods, using scouts to direct rioters to areas with a light police presence.
Floyd’s younger brother Terrence on Sunday condemned the violence.
“Sometimes I get angry. I want to go crazy. My brother wasn’t about that. You’ll hear a lot of people saying, ‘He was a gentle giant,'” Terrence Floyd told reporters.