Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) admits it’s hard to walk the line between “extreme aggression” in confronting injustice and avoiding burning down cities as people protest the police killing of George Floyd in her home district of Minneapolis.
“The unrest we are seeing in our nation isn’t just because of the life that was taken. It’s also because so many people have experienced this," Omar said on ABC’s “This Week.” The Democrat’s district includes all of Minneapolis and some of its suburbs.
"People are sick and tired of being sick and tired. And we need to really step back and say to ourselves, where do we actually [go] from here?"
But the congresswoman also attributed much of the destruction to people “not interested in protecting black lives.” Setting fires risks the community that people claim to be standing for, Omar said, adding: “There are people who exploited the pain that communities are feeling and ignite violence.”
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in Omar’s district as white police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck. Three other officers stood by and did not intervene. All four were fired, and Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Omar has been on the ground in Minneapolis and urging people to stay home after the city’s curfew. She said having the National Guard present made community members feel better about not seeing homes and businesses burned.
“When we see unrest take place, it is often the people saying they have had enough,” Omar said Sunday.