Maya Echols, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist, threatened that cities would be left “on fire” in the event of Derek Chauvin’s acquittal. Derek Chauvin, the officer implicated in the death of George Floyd in May last year, is currently facing second and third-degree murder, and manslaughter charges in the second week of his trial.
The Black Lives Matter activist, who currently has half a million followers on social media, threatened in a since-deleted video:
“If George Floyd’s murderer is not sentenced, just know that all hell is gonna break loose. Don’t be surprised when buildings are on fire. Just saying.”
Similarly, Greater New York BLM leader Hawke Newsome told Fox News in June last year:
“If this country doesn’t give us what we want then we will burn down the system and replace it. All right. And I could be speaking figuratively, I could be speaking literally. It’s a matter of interpretation.”
Newsome then went on to argue that violence was an effective method for black people to obtain social results:
“Like, let’s be very real and observe the history of the 1960s. When black people were rioting, we had the highest growth and wealth and property ownership. Think about the last few weeks. Since you started protesting there have been eight cops fired across the country. Remember they were telling us that there was the due process? That’s why the cop that choked Eric Garner to death kept his job and received raises for five years. Anytime a cop hurt a woman, hurt a child, hurt pregnant people, hurt our elders, there was always a call for due process. You must wait, you must wait, but the moment people start destroying property, now cops can be fired automatically. What is this country rewarding? What behaviour is it listening to? Obviously not marching. But when people get aggressive and they escalate their protests, cops get fired. Now, you have police officers and Republican politicians talking about police reform. I don’t condone nor do I condemn rioting but I’m just telling what I observed.”