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Trump May Have Violated The 4th Amendment After Threatening To Order Military To Shoot Black Americans, Legal Experts Say

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In a tweet early Friday morning as nationwide protests against the police killing of George Floyd intensified for the fourth straight day, Donald Trump called Minneapolis demonstrators “thugs” and said he is prepared to send in the U.S. military to occupy the city with a green light to open fire on those who damage property, writing, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

As noted by Commondreams, The tweet was swiftly condemned by members of Congress and advocacy groups as morally repugnant. Legal experts also warned that law enforcement officials or military personnel carrying out such an order from the president would be in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“Trump doesn’t care at all about the Constitution, of course, especially when he’s trying to scare voters,” tweeted Orin Kerr, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley. “But actually following a policy of ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’ would violate the Fourth Amendment, for starters.”

Kerr pointed to Tennessee v. Garner, a 1985 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that the use of deadly force by law enforcement “to prevent the escape of all felony suspects, whatever the circumstances, is constitutionally unreasonable.”

“Where the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend him does not justify the use of deadly force to do so,” the high court’s ruling states.

“Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” Trump tweeted. “Thank you!”

Twitter posted a content warning over the tweet and said the president’s message violated the platform’s rules against “glorifying violence.”


Former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, an NBC News legal analyst, said “Trump’s tweet threatening ‘shooting’ in Minneapolis is disgusting and repulsive to our system of laws.”

“Every American should denounce this threat to use unconstitutional deadly force,” McQuade tweeted.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) condemned the president’s threat as a call “for violence against Black Americans.”

“His advocacy of illegal, state-sponsored killing is horrific,” tweeted Warren. “Politicians who refuse to condemn it share responsibility for the consequences.”

In a statement on Friday, Jeffery Robinson, director of the ACLU’s Trone Center for Justice and Equality, urged the hundreds of National Guard members who have been activated in Minneapolis as well as the city’s police force to “comply with the law and not President Trump.”

“President Trump has told police officers in New York that they should feel free to use violence against ‘thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon,'” Robinson said. “He did not hesitate to claim to a foreign leader that there is no racial problem in America. The president’s latest suggestion that law enforcement or the military should literally murder protesters is, unfortunately, no longer shocking.”

“Trump’s response ignores the fact that the inherent problem is not the reaction to Mr. Floyd’s murder,” Robinson added. “The problem is Mr. Floyd’s murder.”

H/T: Commondreams.org

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NEWS

If You Thought Kamala Harris Was Tough On Brett Kavanaugh, Just Wait Until She Debates Mike Pence

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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday selected Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as his running mate. Following the news of Biden’s selection, MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace called into her network while on vacation to point out that Harris will mop the floor with Vice President Mike Pence during debates.

“The other piece of reporting I’ve picked up in the past week was from the Trump team, that from their viewpoint, because Donald Trump has no capacity to understand that this is the selection of a person to run the government with the president, he only saw this in terms of casting for the night of primetime coverage that is the vice presidential debate, and this was the pick that scared them the most,” Wallace told MSNBC’s Brian Williams.

“They thought she would more than go toe-to-toe with [Mike] Pence, they thought she could chew him up and spit him out and pointed to her cross-examination of one Bill Barr,” she explained.

“I don’t know that there’s a better debater or questioner on the political field right now,” Wallace said. Her skill-set is unmatched in terms much being able to articulate an argument, to patiently wait to make her point and look at the argument that the democratic ticket has to make.”

Take a look at the video clip below:

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