‘If You Say You Can’t Breathe, You’re Breathing’: Miss. Mayor Defends Officers
The Mayor of a town in Mississippi has suggested that George Floyd caused his own death and the public outcry is unwarranted, according to The Hattiesburg American. Petal Mayor Hal Marx started a twitter storm after tweeting the contentious statements.
Floyd died at a hospital on Monday after a police officer pinned him to the ground with a knee on his neck for more than eight minutes while Floyd complained that he could not breathe.
Marx tweeted in reference to the firing of the police officers involved in Floyd’s death: "Why in the world would anyone choose to become a police officer in our society today?"
He then followed up in response to another user’s tweet saying: "If you are talking about the incident in MN, I didn’t see anything unreasonable. If you can say you can’t breathe, you’re breathing. Most likely that man died of overdose or heart attack. Video doesn’t show his resistance that got him in that position. Police being crucified."
The mayor claimed in another Facebook post that negative responses to his statements were proof that the Left is intolerant, according to Law & Crime.
The tolerant progressives can’t tolerate a simple statement of fact and a request not to trust to judgment. I’m getting a lot of “fan mail” from those who preach love and harmony, wishing for my death. It’s sad that our society has become so polarized and intolerant of different opinions. Anyone who truly knows me knows I treat everyone as an individual. I don’t treat you as a white man, or a black man, or any other demographic. Each person is an individual child of God who is created in His image. I don’t, however, subscribe to the racial politics and progressive view of history. For some, that’s a crime.
- Marx told the Hattiesburg American that his words were misinterpreted and suggested he only meant to point out that no one can be certain what caused Floyd's death: "I think that people are so quick to judge the police before they have all the facts. I can't say whether a crime was committed or whether they did anything right or wrong, all I'm saying is don't rush to judgment based on what you see in that video."
The head of the Forrest County NAACP, Clarence Magee, responded to the mayor’s statement, saying it was uncalled for.
"To hear that statement made by a mayor or anybody is very troubling," he said. "What we saw was disgusting on the part of the officer. It leaves me with mixed emotions. Believing and thinking that we have not gone far enough in this day and time with social media and all that kind of stuff — nobody should condone that. Everybody should condemn it, including the mayor. Skin color had nothing to do with it."