President Trump said in a Fox News interview Wednesday that he has watched some, but not all, of the disturbing video of George Floyd's death, which has ignited protests across the country and around the world calling for police reform.
"The George Floyd case, nothing has to be said. I watched that," Mr. Trump said in a phone interview with Sean Hannity. "I couldn't really watch it for that long a period of time, it was over eight minutes. Who could watch that?"
"But it doesn't get any more obvious or it doesn't get any worse than that," he added.
The video shows former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck during an arrest on May 25. Floyd, who was black, repeatedly tells the white officer "I can't breathe" before losing consciousness. Three other officers on the scene do not intervene, and Chauvin keeps his knee on Floyd's neck even after emergency responders arrived.
Prosecutors originally said Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, but on Wednesday they corrected that and said the length of time was actually 7 minutes and 46 seconds. They said this difference will have no effect on the case.
A witness' video of Floyd's killing set off a global movement of protests against police brutality and racial profiling, which are still ongoing. The four officers were all fired and now face charges for Floyd's death, including a second-degree murder charge against Chauvin.
Mr. Trump condemned the officer in his interview his interview, saying he "has some big problems."
"I just left a big group of the top sheriffs and law enforcement people in the country, and nobody was sticking up for what he did," the president said.
But the president expressed a different view on the death of Rayshard Brooks, a black man who was shot and killed by a police officer in Atlanta last week. Brooks resisted arrest and took an officer's Taser after a DUI stop, and was shot during a foot chase.
The officer who shot Brooks, Garrett Rolfe, was charged Wednesday with murder and 10 other offenses, and a second officer on the scene faces charges as well.
"I thought it was a terrible situation, but you can't resist a police officer," Mr. Trump told Hannity about the Brooks shooting. "If you have a disagreement, you have to take it up after the fact. It was a very sad — very, very sad thing. You take a look, it was out of control."
He also mentioned a statement from Rolfe's lawyers that said the former officer opened fire on Brooks after hearing a sound "like a gunshot" and seeing a flash. "I don't know that I would have necessarily believed that, but I will tell you that's a very interesting thing," Mr. Trump said.
"It's going to be up to justice," he added. "I hope he gets a fair shake, because police have not been treated fairly in our country."
The president signed an executive order on policing this week, which included incentives for more officer training and the creation of a national database of officer misconduct. Congressional Democrats and police reform activists said the order fell short of protests' demands for actions to address systemic racism in law enforcement.