US President Donald Trump says strong new jobs numbers have marked a “great day” for George Floyd, the man whose killing last week sparked nationwide protests over police brutality against African Americans.
Eleven days after Mr Floyd’s death while handcuffed in the custody of Minneapolis police, Mr Trump said at a televised White House briefing such violence cannot be allowed to happen.
“Equal justice under the law must mean that every American receives equal treatment in every encounter with law enforcement regardless of race, colour, gender, or creed,” he said.
And then he added, “Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying, ‘This is a great thing that’s happening for our country.’
“This is a great day for him, it’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody.”
Mr Trump was apparently referring to a surge in employment.
The Labor Department reported the country gained 2.5 million jobs in May and the unemployment rate dropped to 13.3 per cent after extremely high job losses the previous months due to coronavirus lockdowns.
Mr Trump claimed his administration has done more for African-Americans than previous presidents, including lowering their unemployment rate.
Friday’s jobs report said, however, that unemployment for blacks rose slightly to 16.8 per cent.
“This is a great, great day in terms of equality,” Mr Trump said.
Joe Biden, Trump’s presumptive Democratic opponent in the November election, immediately lashed out at Mr Trump for invoking Floyd’s name, calling it “despicable.”
“George Floyd’s last words, ‘I can’t breathe,’ have echoed across our nation and around the world,” Mr Biden tweeted.
“For the President to try to put any other words in his mouth is frankly despicable.”