President Biden on Tuesday, weighing in on the murder conviction of ex-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, left out the rioting, looting, arson and worse that broke out around the country amid a summer of unrest following George Floyd’s Memorial Day death.
The president said the protesters, most of whom were peacefully and lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights, were demonstrating “in peace and with purpose.”
He made no mention of the rioting, although authorities from around the country for months warned that bad actors were exploiting legitimate protests to loot and damage property, commit arson — and in some cases — murder.
Despite estimates that only a tiny percentage of protests led to riots, insurance companies reported more than $1 billion in property damage. Factor in overtime for first responders and the totals surpassed the infamous Rodney King riots in Los Angeles in 1992 as the most expensive in American history.
More than 140 U.S. cities saw repeated protests in the three weeks immediately following Floyd’s Memorial Day death.
David Dorn, a retired St. Louis police captain, tried to intervene as he witnessed looters ransacking a pawn shop on June 2, days after Floyd’s death. One of the suspected looters, 24-year-old Stephan Cannon, allegedly gunned him down and was later charged with numerous offenses including first-degree murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
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