President Donald Trump issued a threat to anyone planning to protest tomorrow’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis,” he wrote on Twitter. “It will be a much different scene!”
Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2020
The president’s tweet was a reference to violent confrontations that have unfolded between demonstrators and police departments across the country as thousands take the streets to protest racial injustice and police brutality. Police officers have been caught on camera brutalizing protesters, intensifying a national conversation on ineffective, often dangerous policing practices that disproportionately impact black people and others of color.
The president has backed police officers and the unions behind them and has in the past had tweets flagged by Twitter for promoting violence, including one instance when he promised “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
Twitter soon flagged his post with the following message: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
The city of Tulsa announced a curfew last night that will also be in effect Friday and Saturday in the area where the president’s rally is being held.
“This is an unprecedented event for the City of Tulsa and has hundreds of moving parts, we are asking for everyone’s help in making this a safe event for all citizens,” the city’s police department tweeted.
🚨CURFEW IN EFFECT FOR DOWNTOWN🚨
As part of our preparations for President Trump’s Rally this Saturday, we are working on making the area secure for everyone’s safety.
As posted earlier, the area illustrated in this map will need to be free of vehicles and pedestrian traffic. pic.twitter.com/uT76N0IWRc
— Tulsa Police (@TulsaPolice) June 19, 2020
The rally remains a point of contention for many critics, particularly the Tulsa Health Department, which has urged the president to cancel the event altogether, citing fears that it would set off a spike in coronavirus infections in the state.