Trump evokes Floyd after hailing strong jobs report

Full Screen
1 / 2

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, June 5, 2020, in Washington. Vice President Mike Pence and Small Business Administration administrator Jovita Carranza are at right. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Friday declared it was “a great day” for George Floyd as he discussed a strong jobs report for the country and efforts to bring about racial equality. Joe Biden, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, said Trump’s comments about Floyd were “despicable.”

Trump's comments about Floyd came as he shifted from discussing a drop in the unemployment rate to say everyone deserved “equal treatment in every encounter with law enforcement, regardless of race, color, gender or creed.”

“We all saw what happened last week. We can’t let that happen,” Trump said. “Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country."

He added: “This is a great day for him. It’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality.”

Floyd, who was black, died after a white police officer pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for several minutes, ignoring Floyd’s cries that he couldn't breathe and bystander shouts. Floyd's death set off protests around the world, including outside the White House.

Trump spoke shortly after the government said the unemployment rate had dropped to 13.3%, better than expected but still on par with Great Depression-era levels of joblessness. He offered the data as evidence that the nation had overcome the worst of the coronavirus pandemic and had begun an economic comeback.

Biden panned Trump's comments during an economic speech in Delaware.

“We’re speaking of a man who was brutally killed by an act of needless violence and by a larger tide of injustice that has metastasized on this president’s watch,” Biden said.